University Press Director

Job description

Posting Details

Posting Details

Job TitleUniversity Press DirectorRequisition NumberRE20639Working TitleDirectorDepartment Name89004:University PressWork LocationLexington, KYGrade Level51Salary Range$88,982-151,320/yearType of PositionStaffPosition Time Status Full-TimeRequired Education


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8 yrs

Required License/Registration/Certification


Physical Requirements

This position will require communicating effectively with a wide variety of individuals; collaborating with all levels of leadership; participating in onsite and off-site meetings; engaging in activities that involve high levels of concentration and mental attention; as well as utilizing multiple computer systems.


Weekdays with occasional nights and weekends.

Job Summary


The University of Kentucky seeks collaborative, experienced, and innovative applicants with proven leadership skills and vision for the position of director, University Press of Kentucky. The successful candidate will provide strategic vision for the University Press of Kentucky, a university press founded in 1949 serving the entire commonwealth.
The director is responsible for administering an income-driven publishing operation with a staff of 15 employees, including 5 direct reports, that handles all aspects of acquisitions, production, development, marketing, financial reporting, and distribution of approximately 60 new books annually, and a backlist of over 2,000 titles. The Press has a primary goal of publishing regional authors and reputable scholars from around the world with a special focus on the publication of books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley Region, the Upper South, and Appalachia. In addition to these regional strengths, the Press has distinguished lists in American military and diplomatic history; Civil Rights and Equality; Film and Screen Studies; Asia in the New Millennium; Culture of the Land; and Contemporary Poetry and Prose. The successful candidate will have significant experience in publishing management and acquisitions.
Reporting to the Vice Provost, the director is responsible for establishing the strategic vision for all Press functions and managing the publishing endeavor in all of its aspects, including editorial direction, business planning, budgetary oversight, fundraising, technology applications, book production, distribution, sales, and marketing.
The director will:
• actively represent and promote the Press throughout the university, the larger academic community, the regional cultural community, and the publishing industry
• work closely with faculty, advisory committees, and key academic units
• actively acquire new book projects in the subject areas published by the press
• attend scholarly conferences to recruit authors
• facilitate cooperative ventures and programs that promote research and learning
• manage the review of manuscript and proposal submissions including the external review process, presentations to the University of Kentucky Press Committee and to the Editorial Board, development, and publication a total of approximately 60 new books published by UPK each year
• manage a statewide Editorial Board consortium composed of representatives from nine public universities, five private colleges, and two historical societies
• establish and maintain effective relations with the media, foundations, and organizations around the state and nation
• serve as a key resource for the entire commonwealth for understanding the operations of a scholarly publisher
The director is also expected to foster and enhance financial support from foundations and other sources, including UK Philanthropy and The Thomas D. Clark Foundation, Inc. The Clark Foundation, Inc. is a private nonprofit foundation established in 1994 for the sole purpose of providing financial support for the University Press of Kentucky. The foundation is named in honor of Thomas D. Clark, Kentucky’s former historian laureate and the founder of The University Press of Kentucky. The director monitors the portfolio of a $3 million endowment that should be increased to $4 million within 5 years through intensive fundraising and prudent investments.
The director is responsible for seeking grants, subsidies, and other financial support for the publication of specific books in order to offset the production expenses of the Press. The director is responsible for establishing a 5 year plan for the press, with emphasis on becoming more sustainable during that time.
The University Press of Kentucky has a dual mission—the publication of books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields for a largely academic audience and the publication of books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia. The Press is the statewide mandated nonprofit scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, operated as an agency of the University of Kentucky and serving all state institutions of higher learning, plus five private colleges and Kentucky’s two major historical societies.
The University of Kentucky is a public, land grant university dedicated to improving people’s lives through excellence in education, research and creative work, service, and health care. As Kentucky’s flagship institution, the University plays a critical leadership role by promoting diversity, inclusion, economic development, and human well-being.
Position is a full-time, 12-month, professional staff position.

Skills / Knowledge / Abilities

Ability to manage staff in diverse functions to produce a cohesive publishing effort.

Evidence of innovative thinking in resolving publishing challenges and emerging trends.

Understanding of current issues and trends in scholarly publication.

Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and ability to work well with a diverse population of faculty, students, and colleagues.

Does this position have supervisory responsibilities? YesPreferred Education/Experience

Graduate degree in a discipline related to the Press’s areas of publishing emphasis or to one of its operational departments, such as marketing or business, or an equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and abilities can be acquired.

Fundraising experience.

Extensive experience in trade/academic publishing and acquisitions.

Deadline to Apply10/29/2019University Community of Inclusion

The University of Kentucky is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce by ensuring all our students, faculty, and staff work in an environment of openness and acceptance. We strive to foster a community where people of all backgrounds, identities, and perspectives can feel secure and welcome. We also value the well-being of each of our employees and are dedicated to creating a healthy place to work, learn and live. In the interest of maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our students, employees, patients and visitors the University of Kentucky is a Tobacco & Drug Free campus.

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we strongly encourage veterans, individuals with disabilities, women, and all minorities to consider our employment opportunities.

Any candidate offered a position may be required to pass pre-employment screenings as mandated by University of Kentucky Human Resources. These screenings may include a national background check and/or drug screen.

Posting Specific Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Where did you first see this position advertised other than on UK's online employment system?
    • (Diverse Issues in Higher Education)
    • (Higher Education Recruitment Consortium)
    • A Colleague, Friend and/or Family Member
    • None of the Above
Applicant DocumentsRequired Documents
  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter
Optional Documents




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    Job No:
    Posted: 10/10/2019
    Application Due: 10/31/2019
    Work Type: