M. Spooner and Andrew Wesolek
Profile of a Merger: In 2009, the dean of libraries and the director of the university press at Utah State University proposed a departmental merger to their central administration. They argued that through restructuring reporting lines so that the press became a department of the library at least three important benefits could be achieved. First, the central administration was at the time hoping to cut costs by consolidating operations in various parts of the university; merging the staff reporting lines of the university press into the library offered an opportunity for consolidation. Secondly, integrating the press into the library promised it some relief from the structural vulnerability it had suffered historically as a department among “other instructional activities” reporting directly to the provost. And for the university library, to move the press into a structural collaboration would bring an established publisher of e-books into the library, representing a steady source of book-length content for the digital institutional repository that the library was consciously building. In short order, and spurred by the impacts of the Great Recession on higher education, the merger was approved.
Part II of this report will also be of interest.