Louisiana State U. Press Might Get the Ax





Louisiana State University Press, one of the South’s top scholarly publishers, could fall victim to its state’s budget hemorrhage, and supporters are rallying to keep it alive. The Louisiana Legislature wants to slash funds for higher education, and that includes a proposed $40-million cut for the press’s home institution, LSU at Baton Rouge, said Bob Mann, a professor of mass communication there. He also edits a series for the press.

The press counts on “a quarter of a percent” of that $40-million to stay afloat, Mr. Mann said. He called it a good bargain: “You get a lot of bang for your buck. It’s a pretty inexpensive way to share the research and scholarship that comes out of this university with the rest of the country.”

LSU Press enjoys a strong reputation as a publisher of history, fiction, and poetry, with an emphasis on Southern writers and themes. It has published James Lee Burke, James Dickey, John Hope Franklin, and C. Vann Woodward. It has bragging rights to what Peter J. Givler, executive director of the Association of American University Presses, calls “a bushel basket of national prizes and awards,” four Pulitzers among them. Mr. Givler also serves on the press’s advisory board.

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