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National University Press director to visit WSU campus

PULLMAN, Wash. — Peter Givler, executive director of the Association of American University Presses will visit the campus of Washington State University on Sept. 1 to learn more about WSU Press and discuss current trends and issues in academic and university publishing.

An articulate spokesman for the importance of university presses in supporting scholarly publication, Givler has been widely quoted in recent months in news accounts concerning the threat posed to university-owned presses by declines in academic funding. The financial challenges facing university publishers gained media attention earlier this year with the announcement of the closure of university press services at the University of Idaho and Northwestern University.

He has argued in recent interviews and opinion pieces that financial strains on university presses and research libraries should be the focus of public concern because they are weakening “the entire system of scholarly communications and its vital substrate of scholarly achievement that nourishes important, groundbreaking work.”

Before assuming his role as director of the AAUP in 1977, Givler served as director of the Ohio State University Press.  He also has worked at the University of Wisconsin Press and at Charles Scribner’s Sons. He has served on the Board of Directors of the AAUP, the Association of American Publishers, and as secretary-general of the International Association of Scholarly Publishers. He is currently on the Board of the Book Industry Study Group.

While in Pullman, Givler will meet with the staff and editorial board of WSU Press, as well as Vice President Sally Savage, Provost Bob Bates, and other administrators.

The AAUP serves its member presses through cooperative programs, professional development opportunities, industry research and analysis and representing the interests of members to the public, other organizations and government agencies.

Along with the Association of Research Libraries, the AAUP has designated 2004 as the “Year of the University Press.” The year-long focus on university presses is intended to celebrate the important role presses play in the scholarly communications process.

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