The president of the University of Akron, Scott L. Scarborough, on Monday issued a statement pledging continued support to the University of Akron Press. The university has been saying that for several weeks now, but many on campus and off have been doubtful because the university eliminated the jobs of all press employees. Since then, the university has named a professor to lead the press, and Scarborough's statement said that two employees of the press would have their jobs restored. Further, he pledged not only to keep the contract obligations of the press, as he has previously, but to "seek out new, high-quality works."
Reaction was mixed, with several observers who have advocated for the press asking not to be quoted by name. They said generally that they applauded the statement, but many have lost trust in university leaders, so they were not prepared to celebrate.
Peter M. Berkery Jr., executive director of the Association of American University Presses, said via email: “Events are unfolding quickly in Akron, and there are a great many details to be worked out in the weeks and months ahead, but AAUP is very encouraged by the administration’s commitment to maintaining a university press of sufficient rigor and scale to meet the criteria for ongoing membership in the association. We stand ready to do everything we can to help them ensure that result.”
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