The idea of a university press was first proposed to the Pancretan Endowment Fund (PEF) in the early 1980s by a group of professors, including the Rector at the time, Professor Gregory Sifakis, and President of the Research Center of Crete, Professor Lefteris Economou. As a result of these initial efforts, the dedication of Cretan leaders in Greece and America, and the generous funding of $500,000 from the PEF through its fundraising efforts within the Pancretan Association of America, the Crete University Press (CUP) was formally founded in 1985 and became the first such publishing house in Greece.
Under an agreement between the PEF and the Foundation for Research and Technology (FORTH), Crete University Press operates as an independent non-profit publishing house modeled after similar institutions associated with English-speaking universities. CUP’s publishing activities are based mostly on revenue from book sales (90%) and the remainder (10%) from annual support from PEF and FORTH.
Since its inception, CUP has published over 370 titles, textbooks, and other university level works created by professors from all over the world. It publishes, on average, 20 titles a year and approximately one million copies of these titles have been sold within Greece. As an important indicator of the esteem CUP has earned over the years, its titles are being used as the main tutorial textbooks in about 1,000 courses taught throughout Greek universities. In addition to books, CUP has produced a series of music records and CDs featuring local folk musicians and singers from all regions of Greece.
Today, CUP is one of the leading institutions of its kind in Greece. It is currently competes with the most well-established commercial Greek publishing houses for premiere assignments and publishing contracts. CUP’s publications have received many prestigious awards — including prizes from the Academy of Athens, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy, and the Greek Association of Music and Theater Critics.