Meredith Babb Begins Term as President of Scholarly Publishing Association
NEW YORK–Meredith Babb, Director of the University Press of Florida, assumed leadership of the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) on June 20, 2015, at the Association’s annual meeting in Denver, Colorado. Babb succeeds Barbara Kline Pope, Director of the National Academies Press, and will lead the Association for one year, ending her term in June of 2016.
AAUP, formally established in 1937, advances the essential need for a global community of almost 140 publishers whose mission is to ensure academic excellence and cultivate knowledge. Babb will lead the Association as spokesperson and advocate for member presses and, as President, will work with the Executive Director and Board of Directors to help steer the organization as it accomplishes the goals set forth in the Strategic Plan adopted in 2014. Babb has been an invaluable member of the AAUP community, having served on the Board of Directors since 2009 and working on numerous committees, including Nominating, Constituency, Library Relations, and more.
In her inaugural remarks, which used the example of Darwin’s finches as an extended metaphor for the evolution that university presses and scholarly publishing have undertaken in the past decade, Babb stated: “Our value is much more than that bottom line—it is our unique skill set, our outreach, and our commitment to excellence that keeps us aligned with our institution’s missions.”
Babb began her work in publishing with William C. Brown Publishing, where she was responsible for sales, service, editorial prospecting, and market information for southeast region of the United States. She joined the University of Tennessee Press as Acquisitions Editor in 1992, serving four years before moving to the University Press of Florida as Editor-In-Chief. In 2005, Babb became the Director of UPF, where she continues to lead the financial, policy, and strategic agendas of the forty-two year old press.
In addition to her work with AAUP, Babb is an avid volunteer. Babb was a member of the Duke University Leadership Council in both 2002 and 2004 and has served on the Board of Directors for the Florida Humanities Council since 2007. In addition to that outstanding service, Babb has also served on the Boards of over 10 other organizations, including the Greater Knoxville Greenways Committee and the Florida Rowing Association.
AAUP is looking forward to the next year under Babb’s leadership and the insight she will continue to bring to the table, as both a scholarly professional and avid supporter of the humanities.
John Michael Eadicicco