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Charles Watkinson Takes Office as AUPresses President

New Board Members and Officers Begin Terms

Charles Watkinson, director of the University of Michigan Press, has stepped into the presidency of the Association of University Presses. Watkinson, who also serves as associate university librarian for publishing at Michigan, succeeded 2021-2022 President Lisa Bayer, director of the University of Georgia Press, at the Association’s Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, this past weekend.

Other AUPresses leaders, elected at the Association’s virtual Annual Business Meeting on May 19, also took office in DC:

  • Jane Bunker, director of Cornell University Press, has been named President-Elect.
  • Amy Schultz, director of finance and operations at Stanford University Press, succeeds Mike W. Bieker, director of the University of Arkansas Press and assistant vice chancellor, director of operations and finance, in the university’s Division of Research and Innovation, as Treasurer. Bieker continues to serve the Board for one more year as a member-at-large.
  • Alexandria Leonard, senior operations analyst at Princeton University Press, joins the Board as Treasurer-elect.
  • Rachael Levay, editor-in-chief at the University Press of Colorado, and Wendy Queen, director of Project MUSE at Johns Hopkins University Press, began three-year terms as Board members-at-large.

“The works our member organizations publish are more widely read than ever,” Watkinson remarked in his inaugural statement, “and our colophons signal trust and integrity around the world in an environment where both are under threat. Take a look at a map of the Association’s ever-growing membership, and you will see pins of light connected in a network of our shared values—truly the ‘global knowledge ecosystem’ that we celebrate in our vision statement.” Read his full statement here.

Watkinson is the Association’s 72nd President (see a complete list of past Presidents). After a decade as a bookseller and book distributor, he got his start in university press publishing in 2004 as director of publications at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, then became director of Purdue University Press in 2009. He has directed the University of Michigan Press since 2014, where he also leads Michigan Publishing Services and the Deep Blue repository and research data services unit, and co-leads Fulcrum, an initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create an open-source platform for media-rich monographs.

A former member of the AUPresses Board of Directors (2011-2013), Watkinson has served on the Association’s Library Relations Committee and, most recently, on the Board’s Admissions and Standards Committee. He has also served on the board of directors of the Society for Scholarly Publishing and as an initiator of the Library Publishing Coalition. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in archaeology and anthropology from the University of Cambridge and an M.B.A. from Oxford Brookes University.

The Association also marks the departure of these Board members at the conclusion of their terms and thanks them for their dedicated service:

  • past President Niko Pfund, president of Oxford University Press USA;
  • past Treasurer Alice Ennis, chief financial officer of the University of Illinois Press;
  • and members-at-large Mary Francis, director of the University of Pennsylvania Press, and Lara Mainville, director of the University of Ottawa Press.

Learn more about the work of the Association of University Presses Board of Directors.

About the Association of University Presses

AUPresses is an organization of more than 150 international nonprofit scholarly publishers. Since 1937, the Association of University Presses advances the essential role of a global community of publishers whose mission is to ensure academic excellence and cultivate knowledge. The Association holds intellectual freedom, integrity, stewardship, and diversity and inclusion as core values. AUPresses members are active across many scholarly disciplines, including the humanities, arts, and sciences, publish significant regional and literary work, and are innovators in the world of digital publishing.

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