Kentucky Governor Calls for Close of University of Kentucky Press and Other Programs
January 31, 2018
Governor Matt Bevin has asked the General Assembly of Kentucky to end all funding for the 75-year-old University Press of Kentucky along with 69 smaller programs that contribute to education, health, research, and economic development in Kentucky. The press’s budget is $672,000 annually, which pays the salaries of 16 employees (the 70 programs in total cost the state $85 million). All other costs incurred by the press are paid for by the annual book sales of $1.8 million. The press will close without that state budget money, said press director Leila Salisbury.
The University Press of Kentucky is the primary publisher of academic and historical books in the state, and it publishes a variety of creative work under the Kentucky Voices Series and the University Press of Kentucky New Poetry and Prose Series. The press’s writers include Crystal Wilkinson, Bobbie Ann Mason, Rion Amilcar Scott, bell hooks, and Frank X Walker, among others.
This attempt to sacrifice an important arts and educational institution follows the closure and reopening of the University of Missouri Press in 2012 and the failed bid to close the University of Akron Press in 2015.