Two years ago, the University Press of Kentucky lost the $670,000 a year it had been receiving from the state. Since that time, the press has been operating in a reduced capacity, largely relying on resources provided by the Clark Foundation, a private nonprofit foundation established in 1994 for the sole purpose of providing financial support for The University Press of Kentucky. Last week, it was announced that the state funding has been restored.
"The University Press of Kentucky and the board of the Thomas D. Clark Foundation extends its sincere thanks to all representatives and senators for mandating funds for the Press to continue its mission to serve the Commonwealth," the press said in a statement.
The press was founded 75 years ago and serves as the publishing outlet for all of the state's institutions of higher learning as well as two historical societies. In February, Ashley Runyon was appointed the new director of the press, having previously served as director of trade publications at Indiana University Press. She assumed the role in March.
"Kentucky and Appalachia are a part of my heritage and publishing the voices and issues of the region is not just a job, but a passion. I’m thrilled to lead UPK into the future of publishing," said Runyon in a statement.
In reaction to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the press has made more than 1,000 e-books available for free to faculty, staff and students at affiliated schools. In addition, numerous open access books have been made available for K-12 students in the state.