William C. Ackermann, who has devoted nearly 20 years of his career to scholarly publishing, is the recipient of the prestigious Constituency Award, presented annually by the Association of American University Presses.
Ackermann, who is Associate Director and Chief Financial Officer of the University of Illinois Press, in Champaign, IL, received the award at the recent AAUP Annual Meeting in St. Louis. Since 1991, AAUP member presses have selected an annual honoree to receive the Constituency Award, presented to the staff member who has demonstrated active leadership and service to the Association and the university press community.
Ackermann was nominated by colleagues within the scholarly publishing field for his more than ten years of service on AAUP committees and for the depth of his commitment to the university press community beyond official service. Ackermann helped develop the AAUP Business Handbook, which has become an invaluable reference guide for all member presses, serving on the Business Handbook Task Force from 1991 to 1994, and authoring two handbook articles. In 1997, he was appointed to the Professional Development Committee, and served until 2002.
Ackermann has put immense energy into chairing the popular workshop series “Financials for Non-Financial People” over the past three years; workshops that have had all the hallmarks of his dedication, knowledge, and humor. “If I’ve accomplished anything within the Association, it has been to ‘de-secretize’ the financial functions of university presses,” said Ackermann. Many in the field can attribute a deeper understanding of the publishing business to his hard work and, in the words of a colleague, “tolerance, receptiveness, and patience.”
In introducing the honoree at the AAUP Annual Meeting, Robbie Dircks, CFO of the University of North Carolina Press and AAUP board member, shared the comments of fellow university press business managers. One wrote in nominating Ackermann, “In looking back over the years, I realize I should thank him for many things. When I was newcomer to the annual financial officers meeting, he made me feel welcome and part of the group. His excitement and dedication to the business was infectious, and now I realize that he has been very influential in my active participation in AAUP in the years that have followed. His advice has always been right on target and respected by his peers. He has greatly influenced and inspired many.”
Ackermann came to the University of Illinois Press in 1984. Prior to that, he served on active duty as a Navy Supply Corps Officer (1967-1978), and subsequently remained in the Naval Reserve for 26 years. Before joining the Press, he worked in various capacities for Eisner Food Stores in Champaign, Illinois.