"We're a state school that depends on the kindness of the board of regents and the state government," says Charlotte Tilson, marketing manager at the University of Arizona Press. "But if the point is getting regular funding, we might be better off having ties with the Mafia. Nobody seems to care very much.

"When the latest [state] funding cuts went through and the [university] marching band lost $75,000 to $100,000, you never heard such an uproar in your life. There were bake sales and marathons. But when they cut the same amount from our budget, there wasn't a single peep of opposition."

Tilson's indignation at this show of indifference is shared by other academic publishing executives, who note how vital the campus presses have traditionally been to the well-being of the scholarly community. Without this outlet, the executives point out, many scholars would be forced to pursue--with comparatively dismal hopes...

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