UA Press hiring

Staff eliminated then partially regained; operations moved to UA Libraries

By Samantha Hickey, News Editor

The UA Press, whose staff positions were eliminated as part of the administration’s sweeping summer cuts—then partly reinstated after weeks of community outrage—is now looking for another faculty member to join its editorial board.

The Press, founded in 1988, publishes scholarly and trade books on the history, politics, and culture of Akron and Northeast Ohio. The Press also has a nationally-renowned series of poetry books.

Thomas Bacher, the Press director, was not rehired; however, he will remain for the few months remaining on his contract, during which associate English professor Jon Miller will act as transitional director before taking over.

“In the summer, the Press joined University Libraries organizationally,” Miller said, referencing the UA administration’s decision to move the Press’s operations to library operations. “Interestingly, the Press originally was a part of University Libraries. We’re still physically located on the fourth floor of Quaker Square.”

Miller also noted that the Press is currently working on several projects, such as a book of poetry, “The Veronica Maneuver” by Jennifer Moore; a biography of former Akron mayor Don Plusquellic; and marketing a book about injuries in Cleveland sports history called “Cleveland’s Bitter Pill.”

As for operating under the library, Miller said “the work of a university press and the work of a research library have grown together in important ways. The people at the Press can help the people in the library, and vice versa. Many research universities are reorganizing their university presses as part of the library. It is a national trend because it makes sense.”

The difference for the Press and it’s staff is almost unnoticeable, besides that “the person directing the Press reports to the Dean of libraries and attends more meetings with library people,” according to Miller. “Before, the Press reported to the Provost’s office.”

“The editorial board function of the University Press is one of the most important things a university press does,” Miller said. “Professors rely on peer review to achieve approval of their work. The promotion and tenure process all over the country depends on the editorial function of academic publishers of scholarly books and journals. Peer review is how we build up and advance knowledge.”

Applications for the position are still being accepted. Miller also said the Press is always hiring new students assistants.

Students can continue to look for books published by the Press in the UA Barnes & Noble bookstores.