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Published September 09, 2019
University of Wyoming Libraries recently was accepted as a member of the University Press of Colorado (UPC), a nonprofit scholarly publisher supported by seven institutions in Colorado and one in Utah.
The membership will provide opportunities for UW faculty members to publish scholarly works. Additionally, it will help promote the university through co-branding of publications under a new UW Press imprint to be built in collaboration with UW faculty members.
“Approval of UW’s application for membership in the University Press of Colorado represents collaboration and support from across the campus as everyone realized that UW branding of scholarly publications helps advance the academic reputation of the university,” says Ivan Gaetz, dean of UW Libraries. “It should be noted that, while the Press continues the historical geographic reference in its name, UPC has developed into a multi-institutional, multi-state collaboration and partnership. Membership can be thought of accurately as a win-win proposition.”
A significant benefit of the membership is immediate participation in a nationally regarded university press -- as opposed to establishing a stand-alone UW Press. Faculty members will receive substantial support for scholarly publishing through information sessions, workshops and personal guidance offered by UPC.
“Historically, UW has never operated or had any affiliation with an academic press, largely on account of the costs to create and maintain one,” says David Kruger, UW agricultural research librarian. “Those same factors led Utah State University (USU) and the Colorado State University (CSU) Open Press to join the University Press of Colorado as well. And with UPC increasingly providing that scholarly communication infrastructure for land-grant universities across the Mountain West region, it makes total sense for UW to become part of it.”
Scott Henkel, a UW associate professor of English and director of the Wyoming Institute for Humanities Research, strongly agrees.
“There are many benefits of this move. UW is joining an established press and, therefore, has the opportunity to make an impact on scholarly conversations at a high level,” Henkel says. “In addition to raising the scholarly profile of the University of Wyoming, faculty at UW can take the lead in framing and advancing conversations on topics that are vital to some of our most pressing public concerns.”
UPC membership also includes representation on its board of trustees. Gaetz has been selected to serve in this capacity as UW establishes itself within the organization. He has previous experience serving as a representative for Regis University 10 years ago. The UPC Board of Trustees directs the functions of UPC in both managerial and editorial capacities, including book contract approvals, and fiscal and operational oversight.
“What I like about this university press partnership is that the human and publishing resources behind it are already in place and ready to work for UW,” Kruger says. “Our membership comes with a suite of university press support and services from UPC, including peer review, layout and printing, marketing and distribution of the research that UW chooses to publish, not only in the interest of our state’s flagship university, but the interests of Wyoming itself.”
In addition to UW, the other UPC member institutions are Adams State University, CSU, Fort Lewis College, Metropolitan State University of Denver, University of Colorado, University of Northern Colorado, USU and Western Colorado University.
UPC was founded in 1965 and is based in Louisville, Colo. In 2012, USU Press merged with UPC. Collectively, UPC publishes 45-50 titles a year, with special emphasis on humanities and social science publications. Annual sales generate $1.1 million from UPC and USU Press imprints.