Forum Scheduled on NMU Press Future
A task force charged with making a recommendation on the future of the NMU Press will hold a forum to gather feedback from the campus community. The forum is scheduled from noon to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, in the Huron/Erie Rooms of the University Center.
“There are a number of questions that need to factor into the discussion,” said Kerri Schuiling (College of Health Sciences and Professional Studies), who co-chairs the task force with Dan Truckey (Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center). “Is it worth starting up the NMU Press again? If so, should it be themed—for example, focusing on Upper Peninsula topics? Should it be in a digital format, print or both? What are the funding sources? A lot of university presses still running are funded by donors. And would there be value in having a press for our students? We’re checking all of that out. Because many on campus may not be aware we’re doing this, we wanted an open forum so faculty and staff can be part of the discussion.”
The NMU Press has had an interesting history of starts and stops and varying directors. It was established in 1962 as a function of the Research and Development Office to publish books that relate to the Upper Peninsula. In 1975, it moved to the Communications Office, but became dormant in the late 1980s due to finances, growing demands on the office and staff cutbacks.
The press was revived in 1993 and management shifted among entities, but operation ceased again a decade later. It returned to the Communications and Marketing Office (now Identity, Brand and Marketing). The most recent publications were Voice on the Water: Great Lakes Native America Now in 2011 and Northern Border: History and Lore of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Beyond in 2014 (pictured).
The task force was originally charged by the late Provost Paul Lang. It will follow through and make a recommendation by the end of the semester. Other members of the task force are: Douglas Black (Academic Information Services), Jennifer Howard (English) Russ Magnaghi (University Historian), Kerry Mohr (Academic Affairs, support) Martin Reinhardt (Center for Native American Studies); Becky Tavernini (Identity, Brand and Marketing); and retired English professor John Smolens.