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About Wayne State University Press

A color photo of the Leonard N. Simons Building, a historic three-story brick building.
The Leonard N. Simons Building (current home of Wayne State University Press), March 2024.

OUR MISSION

A black and white photo of the Leonard N. Simons Building, circa 1930s. The brick building is three stories with large windows.
The Leonard N. Simons Building, circa 1930s.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF WSU PRESS

Wayne State University Press was established in 1941 when the University was Wayne University and governed by the Detroit Board of Education. During its meeting on April 22, 1941, the Board approved by a vote of six to one a proposal “concerning the organization of Wayne University Press.” Supervision of the Press was to be vested in an Editorial Board, whose actions were subject to the approval of the executive vice president of the University.

In 1957, the Board of Governors of the University adopted a policy statement for the University Press that was amended June 7, 1985. The amended statute stipulates that “Wayne State University Press shall be organized as a unit of Wayne State University for the purpose of editing, publishing, and distributing scholarly works and other materials as may appropriately appear under the imprint of the University.” It vests management of the University Press in a director, appointed by the president of the University or his or her designee, and provides for an Editorial Board of no fewer than six and no more than fifteen members of the faculty and academic staff of the University to serve staggered three-year terms. The purpose of the Editorial Board is to review and approve recommendations for the publication of manuscripts and journals. This structure remains in place today with a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and access.

THE VALUE OF UNIVERSITY PRESSES

Wayne State University Press is a staff of professional book marketers, editors, designers, and business managers who work in collaboration with great authors and scholars. We know how to shape and refine books to meet an audience, and we understand the business of bookselling. The Press shares its knowledge of publishing with WSU students through its paid internship program; provides would-be publishing professionals a place to learn and work by hiring student assistants; and serves as a central point for Detroiters and others in the region to learn about this essential communication channel. The Press’s relationships with other university units and departments fosters relationships with organizations across the city and state for a strong contribution to learning, literacy, and research.

WSU Press publishes books rooted in scholarship and expert practice, written to entice the interest of general readers and focused scholars. Like all university presses, we employ a peer review process to uphold the standard of truth and to ensure quality writing. This process engages university-trained scholars and writers of significant accomplishment to provide recommendations to authors and a critical assessment of a work for the Press. Our work reaches out to a broad audience of readers and ultimately to the larger world that depend on informed and engaged peer-reviewed scholarship published to the highest standards. Each university press brings a distinctive vision and mission to its work. Yet we are all guided by, and united in, core values—integrity, diversity, stewardship, and intellectual freedom—that define who we are, the work we do, and the goals to which we aspire.

Read more about the value of university presses or the history of university presses compiled by the Association of University Presses (AUPresses).