Task Force Roster
Charles Watkinson, Michigan, Chair to June 2022 (watkinc AT umich DOT edu)
Lisa Bayer, Georgia, Chair from July 2022 (lbayer AT uga DOT edu)
Angela Anderson, Marine Corps
David Aycock, Baylor
Rebecca Bostock, Ohio State
Becky Brasington Clark, Library of Congress
Hilary Claggett, Georgetown
Catherine Cocks, Michigan State
Tara Cyphers, Ohio State
Kelly Finefrock, Alabama
Craig W. Gill, Mississippi
Kristin Harpster, Wayne State
Kim Robinson, California
Patrick Samuel, Vanderbilt
Amy Sherman, Pittsburgh
Adele Sommerville, North Carolina
Lisa C. Tremaine, Freelance Copyeditor
Rich Schrader, Senior HR Business Partner, University of Michigan
Lisa Bayer, Georgia (to June 2022)
Charles Watkinson, Michigan (from July 2022)
Central Office Liaison
To develop, in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing, a database of well-formatted descriptions of mission-driven publishing roles. These descriptions will highlight the skills needed to enter the profession and advance a career.
Purpose of the Joint Working Group
Publishing professionals who work for learned societies, universities, and other mission-driven organizations live in two different employment spheres: one is that of the parent organization for which publishing is often not the core focus. The other is the publishing industry, which tends to be dominated by larger commercial entities. Their position descriptions often map awkwardly to both environments. The consequence can be opacity and confusion. Unclear criteria for entry-level positions and poorly defined paths for advancement can lead to inequity and exclusion—at odds with our organizations’ DEI commitments.
Recognizing this shared problem, the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) and the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) have established a joint task force to create a reference source of templated position descriptions that reflect the current publishing environment. Over the course of a year, the task force will aggregate and analyze a corpus of positions to seek to define common roles and responsibilities. Building on a prior analysis done by SSP, a particular focus will be to identify the skills needed to both start a career and advance in it.
The goals of the task force are as follows:
- Create a structured list of publishing positions located in organizations big and small (universities, societies, etc.).
- Analyze position descriptions gathered from SSP and AUPresses communities, identifying core responsibilities for the most common positions and the skills required to accomplish them.
- Identify the skills needed to acquire a particular position and then advance within it.
- Create an HR-informed structure for presenting both individual position descriptions and the entire corpus of descriptions in a way that will be useful for both employers and employees.
- Propose a maintenance plan for the position description resource created, recognizing the dynamic nature of modern publishing. Not only do existing positions evolve, but new roles are constantly emerging.
The deliverable will be a corpus of descriptions and a proposal for future resourcing. There will be a report on progress to the leadership of both organizations halfway through the year. The task force will be led by two co-chairs, one representing SSP and the other AUPresses.