Several years ago, then-Rice President Malcolm Gillis came through Atlanta on one of his periodic alumni tours. Since I was covering e-commerce, and happen to be an alum (PoliSci ’77) I asked him his policy regarding the Internet.
"We want to be a few steps behind the bleeding edge," Gillis said.
Successor David Leebron is brighter than that. (I credit the hairline — a Truly Handsome Man as I like to say.) He’s turning the school’s academic imprint, Rice University Press, all-digital, using the open-source Connexxions system. The announcement follows 10 years in which the press, due to its costs, simply didn’t exist. (The football program, which loses $10 million/year, continued to exist, but that’s another subject.)
Here’s the "money quote" from University librarian Charles Henry:
"University presses are losing money at unprecedented rates, and
technology offers us ways to decrease production costs and provide
nearly ubiquitous delivery system, the Internet."
Amen. Go Owls. Methinks we’re going to have to boost our annual fund contribution this year.