AAUP 2017 Annual Meeting Recap

Several UNC Press members recently attended the Association of American University Presses 2017 Annual Meeting, held in Austin, TX. With more than 650 publishing professionals in attendance, the meeting connected and encouraged collaboration among university and scholarly presses. Renowned journalist Dan Rather opened the conference, speaking on the importance of university presses in the current media environment. Our own Michael Donatelli received the 2017 AAUP Constituency Award for his continued contribution to the greater university press community. We’ve collected a few UNC Press members’ reflections to recap the meeting. For more insights, take a look at the hashtag #AAUP17 on Twitter or visit the AAUP 2017 home page. 


John Sherer, Spangler Family Director: “For the third time in ten years, a UNC Press employee has won the AAUP Constituency Award (our sales director, Michael Donatelli). This prize honors an individual at a member press who has demonstrated leadership and service to the university press community. To me, this unprecedented run of winners is a reflection of UNC’s perceived excellence in the university press world. All of the members of the UNC Press community should feel deep pride about this accomplishment.”

Doug Armato, Michael Donatelli, Robbie Dircks
2017 AAUP Constituency Award winner Michael Donatelli with mentor Doug Armato (left, Univ of Minnesota Press) & Robbie Dircks (UNC Press Associate Director and Chief Financial Officer and previous Constituency Award winner)


Michael Donatelli, Sales Director (and recipient of the 2017 AAUP Constituency Award): “I was impressed by the younger people at the meeting.  The future of the AAUP is in good hands.  Favorite panels: Get Creative: The Challenges (and Opportunities) of Working with Authors of Creative Works and Preparing Authors for Publication.”


Forever Bicycles
Ai WeiWei, Forever Bicycles, on view at the Waller Delta as part of The Contemporary Austin’s Museum Without Walls program. Photo credit: John Sherer


Susan Garrett, Sales Manager: “I enjoyed the packed panel on Successful Partnerships with Independent Bookstores, chaired by Gianna LaMorte (University of Texas Press), with Amanda Sharp (University of Georgia Press), Elizabeth Jordan (BookPeople, Austin, Tex.), Emily Hamilton (University of Minnesota Press) and Jeff Deutsch (Seminary Co-op Bookstores, Chicago, Ill.).  Great tips and strategies for UPs connecting more effectively with Indie bookstores, most of which really enjoy promoting UP books.  It’s very helpful, in general, to be at AAUP around my peers who work in sales and marketing.  From big presses to mini-sized presses, everyone comes with ideas to share and much to learn from each other.”


Jessica Newman, Dan Rather, Susan Garrett
Jessica Newman (left, Assistant Editor) & Susan Garrett (Sales Manager) with Dan Rather, speaker at the Opening Banquet


Kim Bryant, Director of Design and Production: “The Production and Design Managers Roundtable is a wonderful example of the collaboration, support, and resourcefulness that can be found (and is encouraged by) the AAUP member presses and community.”

Amanda Sharp, Elizabeth Jordan, Emily Hamilton, Jeff Deutsch
Amanda Sharp (University of Georgia Press), Elizabeth Jordan (BookPeople, Austin, Tex.), Emily Hamilton (University of Minnesota Press) and Jeff Deutsch (Seminary Co-op Bookstores, Chicago, Ill.) Photo credit: David Goldberg, MIT Press, posting in Shelf Awareness


Mark Simpson-Vos, Editorial Director: “I found the tone and energy around this year’s annual meeting as positive as I can recall, with a sense of our important and distinct mission as university presses carrying through from the opening keynote through the plenaries and sessions. I am always impressed by the spirit of innovation and forward thinking that characterizes the conversations I have with fellow publishing professionals at AAUP, and that was certainly true this year, from the smallest university presses to the largest. The renewed commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our work was especially inspiring and challenging. So was an expanding sense of the role university presses play globally in disseminating knowledge that can be trusted by scholars and the general public. This is our essential purpose, and it’s great to feel a part of a community that is locked in around that purpose.”

Torchy's Tacos
The famous Torchy’s Tacos, a highlight for some UNC Press staffers. Photo credit: John Sherer



Looking forward to #AAUP18 in San Francisco!!