The University of Denver has joined the University Press of Colorado (UPC), an alliance that now consists of 10 universities in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, along with the Utah State University Press and University of Alaska Press.
Under the new union, which took effect July 1, 2021, DU will support the publication of works with scholarly, intellectual or creative merit. The UPC produces about 45 works a year, with a special focus on anthropology and archaeology, composition and rhetoric, environmental justice, folklore, history and natural history.
The decision to join the press reflects DU’s ongoing investment in knowledge exchange with scholarly and broader communities, says DU Provost Mary Clark.
Michael Levine-Clark, dean of libraries, agrees: “We believe strongly that university presses play a fundamental role in the dissemination of knowledge, and we have a duty to help support scholarly monographic publishing.”
For its part, the UPC welcomes the prospects provided by its newest member, says Darrin Pratt, UPC director and acquiring editor. “We’re really, really happy to have DU in the membership because of the new perspectives and ideas members of DU will bring to the table, and they might push us in different directions,” he says. “And faculty of DU will benefit us as well in helping us figure
out some new areas we might publish in.”
Levine-Clark will join UPC’s 18-member board of trustees, and several faculty members are to be recruited to the board’s editorial committee.
DU’s move to join UPC comes as the world of academic publishing is still reeling from news in spring 2021 that the prolific University Press of Kansas faced closure. Although the press remains in operation, it reduced its annual production of printed books from 65 to 45.
Pratt expects no such troubles at UPC. “There’s no distress here,” he says. “About 75% of our revenues come from sales; the other 25% come from member institute dues, direct fundraising and a building endowment fund.”
The UPC is known for an impressive array of digital and print titles, including “The Greater Chaco Landscape: Ancestors, Scholarship, and Advocacy,” a digital project with video interviews of tribal elders whose ancestors lived in New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon, and “Presumed Incompetent, the Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia,” a collection of essays by women of color in academia. First published in 2012 by Utah State University Press, “Presumed Incompetent” was republished by UPC in April 2020 thanks to continuing demand.