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February 23, 2021

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Jeff

I am appalled that the Regents of the University of Kansas might consider anything other than increased funding for a press which 'does what it is supposed to do'. Smaller University Presses can focus on regional books as well as carve out some national niches in which they excel. UPK is one such press. Of course, you would have to know and care about military history, constitutional history, and the idiosyncratic history of a particular state, such as Kansas. If you peruse their latest catalogue https://kansaspress.ku.edu/media/wysiwyg/catalog/catSpr2021.pdf you will discover a less known book by Clausewitz, on Napoleon's campaigns. As a former academic bookseller and as one who teaches security and military policies, the advent of this book looms large. And while the Press may well break even, money is not the motivation nor should it be for this new book. Otherwise, a commercial press would have grabbed it.
University presses have an obligation to partner with all other actors in the academic pursuit of knowledge. That may, at times, require a longer term view, And I am sure if KU wins the NCAA March Madness it will be the UPK who will publish the year end celebratory book which will make money. And that is fine since it fills their 'regional' obligation. I want a world of University Presses and excellent linebacker coaches, they are not incompatible.

Steve L.

University presses and linebacker coaches should not be incompatible, but too many universities have prioritized sports over scholarship. (The continued participation in football, and the brain trauma it inevitably causes, is a separate question.)

In any case, not much would be permanently diminished if KU had only one linebackers coach, but significant scholarship will be forever lost if UPK is forced to fold.

There's no place like home

You think that's bad, you should see (I know you probably have) what the Kansas Board of Regents is trying to do to faculty:

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/01/22/firing-professors-kansas-just-got-lot-easier

Jeff

@SteveL. Agree and I think college and high school football is on the way out. (God help us if scholarship is as well). On the technical matter of the # of linebacker coaches -- if you eliminate money or at least the zero sum aspect and the health aspects and was a pure formalist, I would have to disagree as the "Mike" or middle linebacker has a very different role than the outside linebackers and having more than one coach is useful and provides employment for someone who needs it.

Dave Garrow

No one could be more hostile to big-money intercollegiate athletics than I am (and it's SO wonderful in the UK & Europe where no such institutional cancers exist), but that said, Steve's considerably more enthusiastic about UPK's track record than I could be. My familiarity is of course only with their legal history & especially SCt.-cases titles; very likely their military history ones are FAR stronger....

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