The University of North Carolina Press has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust to address challenges brought about by the digital transformation in publishing. UNC Press Spangler Family Director John Sherer will lead a staff-wide effort to implement investments in digital infrastructure. “The world of university press publishing is experiencing significant disruption. This generous grant will permit UNC Press to take advantage of the many opportunities that abound in this new environment,” Sherer said.
This grant from the Kenan Trust follows a $100,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of New York earlier this year to explore the obstacles and opportunities facing publishers as they seek to incorporate various forms of digital scholarship. These gifts are part of a larger, comprehensive campaign for investment in the University of North Carolina Press as it looks to develop sustainable models for university presses within their new digital environment.
Chair of the UNC Press Board of Governors and Interim Dean of the Kenan-Flagler Business School Jack Evans said, “We are very grateful to the Kenan Charitable Trust for giving UNC Press the ability to invest strategically in new models and systems. This will ensure that the Press continues to be one of the nation’s premier public university presses.”
Founded in 1922, UNC Press is the oldest university press in the South and one of the oldest in the United States.
The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust was established in 1965 through the bequest of William R. Kenan, Jr., a gifted scientist, business executive, and generous philanthropist with a deep and abiding commitment to education. The Kenan Charitable Trust supports educational institutions and programs across the United States, with particular emphasis in New York, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Florida, and also supports organizations serving the basic needs of under-resourced children and their families in these regions.