Professional Development and Education

Annual Meeting

More than 660 scholarly publishing professionals gathered at the 2019 AUPresses Annual Meeting in Detroit, Michigan, from June 11-13. Highlights included a thought-provoking opening banquet talk by community organizer Lauren Hood, an informative Opening Plenary on Race and Reader Intimacy with Desiree Cooper, and a Closing Plenary on The Transformative Power of Publishing with Chris Long. In addition, there were over 30 concurrent sessions and collaboration labs selected by the program committee, chaired by Mary Francis (Michigan), that helped attendees learn new skills and collaborate on ways to make their programs more inclusive.

Event highlights included a reception at the Detroit Public Library, a networking reception for People of Color in publishing, the 6th annual 5K walk/run, and a Speed Networking session. Forty-five companies participated in the exhibit hall to showcase their products and services.

Special thanks go to Baker & Taylor, BookBub, Books International, Impelsys, Ingram Academic Services, Jack Farrell & Associates, Longleaf Services, Marquis, MetaComet Systems, Michigan Publishing, Michigan State University Press, Newgen Knowledge Works, The New York Review of Books, Project MUSE, Wayne State University Library and Wayne State University Press for sponsoring events, material production, and offering financial assistance.

Annual Meeting Grants

In 2019, the Association funded several programs for qualified member staff to attend the Annual Meeting.

Early Career Grants
These grants provided $1,800 in registration fees and travel expenses for an individual with less than three years of experience at a member press to attend their first Annual Meeting. The following individuals were awarded a 2019 Early Career Grant:

Rebecca Colesworthy, Acquisitions Editor, State University of New York Press
Claire Eder, Journals Marketing Specialist, University of Wisconsin Press

Annual Meeting Newcomer Grants
AUPresses funded this registration grant to individuals who hoped to attend their first Annual Meeting. The following individuals received 2019 Newcomer Grants:

Thomas Devine, Human Resources Generalist, Duke University Press
Anna Faison, Marketing Assistant, University of North Carolina Press
Megan Malashewsky, Agency and Digital Marketing Coordinator, University of British Columbia Press

Diversity Grants
AUPresses also waived registration fees and provided travel funds to bring individuals from under-represented groups within the Association to the meeting. The following individuals received 2019 Diversity Grants:

Jasper Chang, Editorial Assistant, Rutgers University Press
M’Bilia Meekers, Publicity Manager, University of Washington Press

AUPresses Registration Promotions

In addition to the grants listed above, the Association offered two registration promotions in 2019 to ensure that meeting attendees represented members’ diversity-in size, experience, and background. Regular Association member presses with annual net sales under $1.5 million were eligible to receive one free meeting registration. Fifty-one individuals attended the meeting using this promotion. Other member presses could send one meeting newcomer for no charge if they purchased three full meeting registrations, with 31 newcomers using this promotion.

AUPresses-LPC Cross Pollination Grants

The Cross-Pollination Conference Registration Grants aim to promote greater interconnectivity between members of the Association of University Presses and the Library Publishing Coalition. The program helps two people from each organization’s membership to attend the other’s annual meeting.

Recipients of a waiver to attend the 2019 Library Publishing Forum in Vancouver, British Columbia, were: Meredith Carruthers, Managing and Production Editor at Concordia University Press; and Laraine Coates, Marketing Manager at the University of British Columbia Press. Recipients of a waiver to attend the 2019 AUPresses Annual Meeting in Detroit, Michigan, were: Sherri Barnes, Scholarly Communication Program Coordinator at the University of California, Santa Barbara; and Dave S. Ghamandi, Open Publishing Librarian at the University of Virginia. In addition to creating collegial networks between the two communities, this program is intended to encourage future collaboration between the two organizations.

Meeting Mentorship Program

The Association’s Professional Development Committee facilitated the Meeting Mentorship Program for the fifth year in 2019. The committee matched over 54 mentor pairs who connected at the Annual Meeting in Detroit.

In addition to the Meeting Mentorship Program, the committee launched a Virtual Mentorship Program. The goal of the program was to give participants unable to attend the Annual Meeting a chance to connect with a professional network, which extends all over world. Twelve pairs were matched and kept in contact via video-call, phone, and email between June 2019-June 2020.


Association Committees organized the following workshops held on June 11 in Detroit, prior to the 2019 Annual Meeting.

The Case for Publishing Services
Organized by John Sherer (North Carolina), this workshop, through case studies and roundtable discussions, examined publishing services through multiple perspectives, including building a distinction between publishing services and the press’s imprint; modeling different staffing structures; developing strategies for soliciting services at a host university; and templating business models and finances. Thirty-three participants attended this workshop.

AUPresses EDP Roundtable
The Editorial, Design, and Production Committee reprised this roundtable pre-meeting event for the third year in a row. The group once again shared ideas, experiences, and solutions, and came away with practical information, connections, and inspiration. Fifty-six participants attended this session chaired by Jillian Downey (Michigan) and Kristin Harpster (Wayne State).

Beyond Likes: Making Social Media Metrics Matter
The AUPresses Marketing Committee, chaired by Erin Rolfs (McGill-Queen’s), organized this workshop which aimed to tackle the often-raised question of how online engagement influences marketing decisions and sales outcomes in practice rather than theory. Fifty-four participants attended.

Special Group Meetings

Volunteers regularly arrange meetings for professional interest groups. The following groups met in 2019-2020.

Journals Assembly
The Journals Committee, led by Katie Kaefer (AHA), organized this session that brought together 36 representatives from AUPresses Journal Program that focused on the future of journals.

Directors’ Luncheon
Sixty-one directors registered for this casual networking luncheon, sponsored by Baker & Taylor, held on June 11 in Detroit.

AUPresses Press Directors’ Meeting
Seventy-four directors attended this meeting facilitated by Jennifer Crewe (Columbia) in Detroit in advance of the Annual Meeting. The agenda included an update on Association’s advocacy tactics, as well as examples of how AUPresses Annual Operating Statistics can be used as an advocacy tool.

Financial Officers’ Meeting
The 2020 AUPresses Financial Officers Meeting, originally scheduled for April 15-17, was postponed due to COVID-19. The meeting will now take place from December 9-11 in Lexington, Kentucky. The Program Committee includes Teresa Collins (Kentucky), Chair; Davida Breier, (Johns Hopkins); Rosalyn Carr, (Alabama); and Tonia Lonie, (Mississippi).

The Association offered travel grants to qualified individuals from smaller member presses to attend this meeting. The following individuals received grants:

Jessica Bartell, Kent State University Press
Lisa Davis, University of Tennessee Press
Samantha Anderson Jackson, University of Virginia Press
Christine Sun, Wilfrid Laurier University Press


With the support of the Association’s Professional Development Committee, the following webinars were held to share information and resources at a low cost. Webinars were recorded and made publicly accessible one month after the live session.

What’s New in Metadata
In February 2020, Kathryn Marguy (Johns Hopkins) moderated this session which explored successes and struggles optimizing data output in a changing landscape. Thirty-five individuals registered for the live event. Panelists included Bob Oeste (Johns Hopkins), Meagan Szekely (Naval), and Kathy Burgess (Mississippi). Watch recording >

Academic Conferences
Greg Britton
(Johns Hopkins) moderated this session in December 2019, covering best practices for conferences from acquisitions, marketing, sales, publicity, and professional development perspectives. Panelists included Dawn Durante (Illinois), Emily Powers (Beacon), and Stephanie Adams (Stanford). Twenty-nine people participated in this webinar. Watch recording >

How to Drive Sales on Your Website
Supadu sponsored this webinar held in November 2019. Sarah Abuthnot (Supadu) demonstrated how simple website improvements can lead to increased discoverability and engagement. Seventy-four individuals registered for this webinar. Watch recording >

“Let’s Talk About…” Hangouts

In 2019, AUPresses debuted a new hangout series. An informal and interactive way to learn more about the topics that interest our community most, the AUPresses “Let’s Talk About…” hangout series offers lively discussions with plenty of opportunity for Q&A. AUPresses committees organize the hangouts.

The series returned in January 2020, with a “Let’s Talk About…” hangout on International Rights Experts: “Ask Us Anything!” Intellectual Property and Copyright Committee Chair Bryan Birchmeier (Michigan), USA, moderated this session with panelists Andrew Joseph (Wits), South Africa; Nadine D. Buckland (West Indies), Jamaica; and Lisa Jemison (Toronto), Canada.

A hangout on Virtual Events A to Zoom was held in April 2020, coordinated by the Marketing Committee. Moderated by Erin Rolfs (McGill-Queen’s), the panelists were Rebecca Allen (TCU); Kate O’Brien-Nicholson (Fordham); Katie Stileman (MIT); and Jeremy Wang-Iverson (Vesto PR).

Art of Acquisitions Hangouts

Developed by the Acquisitions Editorial Committee, the Art of Acquisitions Hangouts feature lively sessions with moderated panels, active audience Q&A, and Twitter chats using the #artofACQ tag. These sessions address a variety of topics of special interest to the AE community, including:

    • Sponsoring Trade Books
    • Strategies for Acquiring Digital Projects
    • Building a Strong Relationship with Your University
    • Starting from Scratch: Filling an Empty Pipeline or Opening a New Subject Area

A special hangout also took place during Peer Review Week in September 2019, A Conversation About Quality in Peer Review, moderated by Beth Bouloukos (Amherst/Lever), Chair of the AUPresses Acquisitions Editorial Committee, with panelists Cheryl Ball (Wayne State University Library); Kathleen Fitzpatrick (Michigan State University); Gita Manaktala (MIT); and Ken Wissoker (Duke).

Residency Grants

The AUPresses Residency Program provides opportunities for individuals at Association member presses to advance their professional knowledge, strengthen operations at their home presses, and foster professional collegiality throughout the community. Offering staff at member presses intensive, hands-on residencies of up to one week at other member presses, the program is one of the Association’s most effective professional development initiatives, benefitting both host and home presses alike.

The 2019 Residency Program was funded in part with a generous grant that will support the program through 2021 from Johns Hopkins University Press in honor of its former director Kathleen Keane, who retired in 2017.

The Professional Development Committee, which administers the program, selected the following individuals for the 2019 Residency Program:

Jessica Castro-Rappl, Duke University Press
Stephanye Hunter, University Press of Florida
Elise Jajuga, Michigan State University Press
Andrea Laws, University Press of Kansas
Katelyn Leboff, Cornell University Press
Elizabeth Maselli, Rutgers University Press
Daniel McShane, SUNY Press
Emily Powers, Beacon Press
Katherine Purple, Purdue University Press

Directors Residency Program

2019 marked the second year of the Directors Residency Program. Modeled after the Association’s Week-in-Residence Program, this program provides travel funding to directors at smaller member presses to spend a few days visiting with and learning from another member press.

The following individuals were selected to participate in the 2019-2020 AUPresses Directors Residency Program:

Amy Etcheson, Southern Illinois University Press
Linda Kunos, Central European University Press
Gianna Mosser, Vanderbilt University Press
Justin Race, Purdue University Press
Sue Berger Ramin, Brandeis University Press