"My university is not going to close me." With those words, Cathy Skoglund wrapped up her presentation at last month's Association of College and University Printers (ACUP) conference, after describing how her in-plant at Arizona State University utilizes students almost exclusively as its work force. Her certainty of her in-plant's strong position stems from the fact that the Print & Imaging Lab aligns closely with ASU's educational mission by giving students hands-on experience, which helps them launch their careers.
The University of Scranton is still reeling from the loss of one of its most dedicated employees on January 1. Ray Burd, director of Printing and Mailing Services for the past 24 years, was killed by a falling branch while cutting down a dead tree on his property in northeast Pennsylvania. He had just turned 63 and was planning to retire in two years.
The Association of College and University Printers will make its first venture into the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” next month when its 48th annual conference takes place in Minneapolis, May 19-23. Hosted by Minnesota State University, Mankato and Gustavus Adolphus College, ACUP will feature a full agenda of educational sessions, as well as a vendor exhibit area and plenty of time to network with fellow higher-ed in-plant managers. The group will also tour the Print & Mail Operations of Minnesota State University, Mankato. Two keynote speakers will offer some interesting perspectives:
For years I've been hearing about the Dscoop conference, an annual meeting of HP users. In-plants with HP Indigo presses have praised Dscoop's relevant sessions, its impressive vendor show and the opportunity it provides to swap ideas with fellow HP users. Last month I finally got a chance to attend the conference, held at Nashville's Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center (not my favorite place; more on that in a minute).
The competitive threats to in-plants are not diminishing. The reason: print volumes are not returning to pre-recession volumes, so fewer in-plants are achieving their goals (i.e,. financial break-even), leaving the door open to an outsourcing or facilities management company.
It may have looked and felt just like a traditional ACUP conference, but when the Association of College and University Printers met in Dallas in April, it was really a new beginning. This was the association's first meeting as a dues-paying, non-profit organization.