Bipartisan backing for public funding for the Adler MUP model

The outrageathon continues over the University of Melbourne decision to end the Louise Adler publishing model at its press, and her subsequent resignation.

The campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union bought in late Friday, with VP (academic) Christian Haesemeyer saying; “one understands the university’s desire to focus on academic work, but universities are also, at heart, a place for public debate on the important issues of our time.  This change will hinder public debate by providing less options for the wider community to be informed.  It narrows independent inquiry.”

Labor’s shadow  research minister Kim Carr did more than deplore, telling The Age (Saturday) he “was open to the prospect” of seed-funding for publishing of the MUP kind.

Back in 2013 the then minister for innovation promised $12m over three years, contingent on matching funding from universities, for their presses to share infrastructure and marketing, a commitment which did not survive Labor’s election loss that year. A publishing-subsidy is certainly in-line with Labor funding The Conversation website.

It also has bi-partisan appeal, at least in terms of a publishing structure. Yesterday now defence, formerly education minister Christopher Pyne, tweeted (@cpyne), “a good idea every 25 years is not enough but Kim Carr has now had one – I agree with him that the unis should look to the model of The Conversation to continue the contribution of MUP. It would be a shame to lose that independent publishing voice for all except academic treatises.”


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