Provost issues statement on SMU Press’ future

SMU Provost Paul Ludden has announced the formation of a task force to review options for re-establishing the SMU Press. The group will have a tentative deadline of Dec. 1, 2010, to deliver its report.

Ludden outlined the task force’s mission, as well as criteria for any future version of the Press, in an e-mail dated May 19, 2010:

As recently announced, the current operations of the SMU Press will be suspended effective May 31, 2010. We will, however, be fulfilling all of our contractual obligations with authors as we go forward.

As a result of our initial decision to suspend operations, we have received many comments and offers of assistance to recreate the Press in a positive, forward-looking manner. After several meetings with the Editorial Advisory Board of the SMU Press, it has been decided that a Task Force will be created to review whether SMU should have a Press and if so, in what form a new SMU Press can move forward.

If SMU is to have a Press in the future it must meet the following criteria:

  • Its structure and operations must reflect the technological advances that are sweeping the publishing industry.
  • Its operation must be financially sustainable.
  • Any publishing decision must reflect the consideration of the marketplace response to the publication.
  • The Press must continue to reflect the academic principles and standards of the University.

I will work with this Task Force to review creative options that are emerging within the publishing industry. If the University is to have a Press going forward, it needs to be a model for academic presses of the future within this digital age. I will be announcing the members of the Task Force in the very near future. We hope to have a report from the Task Force by Dec. 1, 2010.