University of Michigan contributes $1.2 million to support university press infrastructure for the humanities
U-M Press Fund to Mission initiative receives a substantial commitment from the University's academic leadership. "Ensuring a sustainable future for high-quality scholarly publishing cannot just be the responsibility of strained library budgets," says Vice Provost.
In her Budget Letter for the 2023 Financial Year, Provost McCauley committed an extra $400,000 to the University of Michigan Press to support the transition to open access for the Press's scholarly monograph program, an initiative known as Fund to Mission. In the June 30, 2022, message she wrote:
"we have elected to provide additional one-time funding for three years (for a total of $1,200,000) to allow you to pilot the long term sustainable strategy outlined in your business case. If the pilot is successful at the end of the three year period, we invite you to resubmit your request for base funding.”
The three-year commitment matches the investments from a community of library supporters, showing that the University takes seriously its commitment to supporting university presses as core infrastructure for the humanities. The willingness to consider a request for continuing (base) funding is especially significant.
James Hilton, Vice Provost for Academic Innovation, has further explained why the University is investing in the Press's scholarly monograph program.
"Ensuring a sustainable future for high-quality scholarly publishing cannot just be the responsibility of strained library budgets. In expanding its support for the University of Michigan Press's monograph program, the university has shown its commitment to university press publishing as a core infrastructure for the humanities. The central investment also advances open access without author payment, so that the Press can maximize the reach of the best humanities scholarship, irrespective of its authors' institutional affiliations (or non-affiliations). We all benefit from the shared infrastructure that university presses represent and should all be willing to contribute."
The Fund to Mission initiative adopts a distinctive approach to enabling humanities books to gain the advantage of open access availability. Unlike the authors of journal articles in the sciences, book authors rarely have research funding that allows the costs of publishing to be subsidized. In Fund to Mission, no author is ever required to pay for publishing costs, although offers of support are accepted by the Press. The majority of the costs of publishing are paid by library commitments to purchasing the University of Michigan Press Ebook Collection, with support from the Press's parent university and revenue from print sales making up the rest. More information is available here: https://ebc.press.umich.edu/invest