The wonderful support of the book world has given us confidence that the Publishing Program and Ooligan Press will survive. The interim dean of our college, Dick Knight, has reiterated Jennifer Ruth’s reassurance. We look forward to working creatively and productively with all involved to maintain, then enhance, the quality of our program and its contribution to the literary community and the university.
from Jennifer Ruth, PSU Department of English Chair
The English department at PSU is proud of all its programs and has been arguing, and will continue to argue, that we need to maintain and grow all of them. At this time, we have no plans to retrench in any way and, as a department, made an explicit decision that, were we to need to make cuts in the next few months, we would not consider closing the publishing program or Ooligan Press. The English department is appointing a committee of faculty to research the problem and make recommendations. This committee will form and begin this spring and possibly continue its work into fall of the next academic year. I’d like to thank all of you–students, faculty, the community, and the PSU Administration–for your support of our programs and the mission of Portland State more generally.
The budget crisis threatened the program’s survival, but your outpouring of support has awakened the department and the university to the importance of the publishing program and Ooligan Press. Your letters have an impact. Your support is a treasure. Thank you. Now we look forward to working with the department to secure the future of the program and have it adequately staffed.
Our program’s director, Dennis Stovall, is retiring in December, and the plan was to hire one full-time replacement. Because of state budget cuts and interdepartmental budget issues, there are no longer any plans to hire additional faculty for the publishing program. As it is, our program has a 60:1 student-to-full-time faculty ratio. If we are unable to secure funding for our program, the ratio will go to 120:1 next year.
The students in the publishing program have started to organize a letter writing campaign to let the higher-ups and media know how valuable this program really is, as highlighted by two recent articles in Publishers Weekly and Poets & Writers .
If you wish to help us with this campaign, and support both the graduate publishing program and Ooligan Press, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.