The University of Michigan Press announced a policy Friday to govern its book distribution deals, which could end its controversial relationship with Pluto Press, a London-based publisher.
Three U-M regents publicly urged the press in November to stop distributing books for independent publishers. They cited damage to U-M's reputation from "Overcoming Zionism," a book published in February by Pluto Press that was the target of criticism.
The book argues the creation of Israel was a mistake and advocates solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by creating a single democratic state for both groups that would not have a Jewish character.
U-M Press does not review the content of books it distributes for other publishers.
According to the guidelines announced Friday, U-M Press will consider distribution deals with independent publishers whose missions are aligned with its mission, and whose academic standards and processes of peer review are reasonably similar to those of the press.
At this time, Pluto Press does not conform to the guidelines, said Peggy McCracken, a professor who is chairwoman of the U-M Press executive board. Without changes in its operations, Pluto Press' distribution contract is in jeopardy. The latest contract expires in the spring.