Yesterday, Inside Higher Ed reported the following:
The University of Michigan Press — which has been under fire for distributing a book, through a distribution arrangement with another publisher, that says the creation of Israel was a mistake — has announced guidelines for such distribution arrangements. Michigan officials say that the guidelines (the bottom paragraph on this link) could endanger future ties to Pluto Press, the publisher of the book that set off the controversy. The guidelines state that Michigan will consider such relationships only with a publisher "whose mission is aligned with the mission of the UM Press and whose academic standards and processes of peer review are reasonably similar to those of the UM Press." Pluto publishes serious scholarly works, but has an explicit political mission — "Pluto Press has always had a radical political agenda," its Web site says — unlike the Michigan press. Peggy McCracken, an associate dean at Michigan who is chair of the executive board of the press, said she did not think Pluto met the requirements of the new guidelines, and so Michigan might not renew the relationship. She said, however, that the decision was "up in the air" while the press gathers more information about Pluto's procedures. Last year, Michigan announced that it wouldn't sever ties with Pluto at that time, but would draw up guidelines for such relationships.
Here are the new distribution guidelines for UM Press, according to its website:
The UM Press may consider entering into distribution and/or marketing arrangements with other scholarly publishers whose mission is aligned with the mission of the UM Press and whose academic standards and processes of peer review are reasonably similar to those of the UM Press. The Director and Executive Board will review proposals for distribution and/or marketing arrangements from publishers and consider whether they meet these criteria.
One would think that since Pluto Press does not meet the new distribution guidelines, nor is it likely that the radical publisher ever will, that UM Press would end the distribution deal either now, or as soon as the distribution contract is up for renewal this spring.
To read more about the one-sided anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, and anti-America books published by Pluto Press, which make the publisher's association with UM Press and The University of Michigan so unacceptable, see past Anti-Racist Blog posts by clicking on the labels below.