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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 8 July, 3, 1946

NZ University Press Takes the Field

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NZ University Press Takes the Field

As the climax of a movement which began at the beginning of 1914. and was revived in 1925 and 1943, the Senate of NZU last year set up a Board of Managers of the University of New Zealand Press. This is one of the most important facts in the history of NZU, and may well be said to mark our coming-of-age.

The most ardent worker in the campaign for a press has been Dr. Hight (Rector, CUC). who is now chairman of the Board of Managers. Victoria's representatives are Profs. Hunter and Gordon, and Dr. J. C. Beaglehole. The remaining members are Prof. Allan (CUC). Prof. Galway (OUC), and Mr. J. H. E. Schroder.

Dr. Hight's 1915 report on the possibility of establishing a press, states:—

"The existence of a press in a modern university implies that the university will print and publish, generally at its own cost, certain works more or less closely related to its activities."

The Board has listed the following classes of work as those which it will be prepared to publish:—
1.Original works of learning.
2.Works of general cultural interest.
3.Periodicals or journals.
5.Summarized theses.
6.Manuals or textbooks.

Advertisements have already been made asking for contributions under these classes. It is understood, however, that the annual grant for publishing is as yet very small. It is of the utmost importance that staffs and students and graduates generally support this enterprise to the full. It is a small beginning—moves like this one usually do have small beginnings in NZ. But it we believe, what, as students, we should, that the need for a University and for a crystalisation of our cultural standards is greater than ever, then it is our clear task to see that these small beginnings grow, that the publishing grant grows in response to a demand.

From now on it is the duty of College staffs to encourage more than they have in the past the undertaking of original studies. This is of particular importance in the Science faculty, where too often the student is put off with routine work for a thesis. Admittedly facilities are not of the best. This makes it only too clear that the success of the University Press is very much bound up with the question of the University keeping up with the demands that are made on it, that the success of publishing is dependent on the success in producing what is most suitable to be published. If the University loses contact with the needs of the community and the requirements of its students we might as well fold up the Press now, and save the money.

Students mutt realise that the responsibility rests on our shoulders as well as on the shoulders of those who control University policy. We must become increasingly conscious of our duties to the community in the way of cultural knowledge, and cultural knowledge, moreover, which is not merely of academic interest.

If the University Press publishes material which does and can interest only a limited section of the community, it is serving no useful purpose. Recent developments have brought home to scientists, for example, the fact that the independence on which they had prided themselves was a snare and a delusion. The University Press must then be also used to express the views on problems of society of the so called "academic" world. After six years of war against fascism we should have no doubts in this matter, and we should consider it of primary importance.

Apart from actual works on suitable subjects along these lines, the best method we have of disseminating knowledge, and of expressing a rational out look on social problems is through a periodical. Of particular importance sue articles, summarised theses, etc., which deal with aspects of New Zealand history and culture. The sooner such a periodical is established, the sooner can we create the interest in what the University has to say which is so essential for the success of the publishing venture.

Once our Press is an established feature of NZ life, we can at last claim that our isolation from the community has ended, and that we have begun to realise fully our duties to the community.