Scholarly Kitchen, May 2014. A recent article in The Nation, titled “University Presses under Fire,” sounds an alarm about the current state of and future prospects for university presses, and in so doing trots out the usual bugbears: the corporatization of the academy; a disruptively digital information environment; high-priced science journals that are siphoning library money out of book allocations and into subscription budgets.
These bugbears are real, of course. But they are also much more complicated than they might seem at first blush.
Take the term “corporatization,” for example, which in some cases legitimately describes a trend towards inappropriately bottom-line and revenue-driven decision making in academia. However, it may also be invoked to characterize any unpopular administrative decision that reflects the reality of budget limitations and the need to satisfy stakeholders.
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