Richard Brown Assumes AAUP Presidency

Brown began his work in publishing as an editor at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, a research institute studying international affairs and the presidency. He then spent nine years in religion publishing, first as an editor at Pilgrim Press and then as director of Westminster John Knox Press. In 2001, he began his tenure as director of Georgetown University Press. The Press was founded in 1964, and has been a member of AAUP since 1986. Under Brown’s leadership, the Press has strengthened its reputation in its core subject areas, including languages and linguistics, international affairs, and public policy.

Brown comes to the association’s presidency with an already significant history of service to AAUP, having chaired the AAUP Annual Meeting Program Committee in 2006, and the Task Force on Committees in 2009. He has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2007, serving last year as President-Elect.

His distinguished academic achievements include a PhD in religious studies from the University of Virginia, an MA in theological studies from Emory University; an MBA from the University of Louisville; and an AB in English, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In his inaugural address on June 19 at the 2010 AAUP Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Brown urged listeners to think about scholarly publishing as in “a perpetual state of transition,” rather than the “crisis” it is so often made out to be. He proposed that publishers think of themselves as engaged in a “moral activity,” and to that end, that all member presses should confront three “orientations” within their organizations: economic, social, and cultural. He concluded with the conviction that the collective talent of the scholarly publishing community, along with the inherent significance and necessity of the enterprise, is reason for “not naïve optimism, but hope.”