AUPresses Recognizes Two for Outstanding Service to University Presses

Inaugural Stand UP Award and Constituency Award Presented

New York, NY, and Washington, DC (June 16, 2020)—The Association of University Presses (AUPresses) presented two awards during its virtual 2020 Annual Meeting yesterday, recognizing two individuals for outstanding service to the university press community.

Ned Stuckey-French Receives Inaugural Stand UP Award Posthumously

NStuckey French

Author and teacher Ned Stuckey-French (1950-2019) was named the inaugural AUPresses Stand UP Award honoree and celebrated with a short video

The Stand UP Award was established by the AUPresses Board of Directors to honor people who through their words and actions have done extraordinary work to support, defend, and celebrate the university press community. The award is intended to recognize advocates who are not on staff at a member press but who stand up from within the communities that presses work with, speak to, and serve.

Ned Stuckey-French personified the very spirit of this award. An associate professor of English at Florida State University and an accomplished university press author and adviser, Stuckey-French played a central role in mobilizing support in 2012 to prevent the University of Missouri Press from closing. A suddenly announced plan to close the 54-year-old press in May 2012 was reversed by late summer after sustained outcry from prominent authors like William Least Heat-Moon, scores of readers across the state, and scholars around the world. Stuckey-French, author and longtime university press sales rep Bruce Miller, and other Missouri advocates successfully inspired and corralled this local-to-global response, alerting regional and national journalists of the threat and leveraging the power of social media.

“That the University of Missouri Press continues to survive and, indeed, thrive today, is in my mind a most fitting tribute to Ned,” said the press’s director David Rosenbaum. “He had faith in university press publishing.”

When he spoke about the Missouri advocacy work as part of a panel during the Association’s 2013 Annual Meeting, Stuckey-French firmly situated the value of university presses within higher education and, as such, as an investment that’s worth defending. “People respect learning and see its worth. If we talk to them, they understand the role that university presses play in education,” he said, “but we have to talk to them.” 

He continued to advocate on behalf of threatened university presses, particularly those affiliated with public universities, standing up and speaking out in support of the University of Akron Press in 2015 and the University Press of Kentucky in 2018, among others. About the Kentucky publisher, for example, he wrote, “Defending the Press is defending public education.”

“Ned’s activism transformed the way our community mobilizes,” remarked Greg Britton, editorial director of Johns Hopkins University Press and an AUPresses board member who was instrumental in the creation of this award. “In standing up for us, Ned taught us how to stand up for ourselves.”

Stuckey-French taught writing at Florida State, where he also directed the Graduate Certificate in Publishing and Editing Program. A former labor organizer, he earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, his master’s from Brown University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He published books with several university presses during his career, including The American Essay in the American Century (University of Missouri Press, 2011) and Essayists on the Essay (University of Iowa Press, 2012). Although not originally a university press project, Writing Fiction—which he and Elizabeth Stuckey-French coauthored with Janet Burroway—was published in its tenth edition by the University of Chicago Press in 2019.

The Association recognizes and thanks Ned Stuckey-French for his stalwart support of university press publishing and for helping to create the model for mobilizing the greater community of scholars and readers to support threatened presses.

Larin McLaughlin Receives 2020 AUPresses Constituency Award

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Larin McLaughlin, editor-in-chief of the University of Washington Press, was named the 2020 AUPresses Constituency Award honoree. The award was presented by Niccole Coggins, editorial, design, and production coordinator and assistant project editor at the University of Virginia Press, and a former Diversity Fellow.

McLaughlin was honored for her contributions to advancing the goals of diversity and inclusion in the university press community; in particular, her nominators commended her leadership as author and principal investigator of the Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowship Program. Since 2016, this program has created opportunities in university press acquisitions departments for talented scholars from diverse communities. McLaughlin developed and led the program in its first three years with three partner presses—Duke, Georgia, and MIT—and also won a second grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to expand the program with five partner presses—Chicago, Cornell, MIT, Northwestern, and Ohio State—in 2019. 

When phase 2 of that grant program concludes in 2022, the program will have provided an introduction to university press operations and specific training in editorial acquisition and list-building to a total of 30 fellows; moreover, it will have demonstrated for the entire community more equitable practices to inform our continued work to hire, train, and advance the next generation of university press leaders.

“The Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowship made my own entry into acquisitions possible,” wrote Kyle Gipson, assistant editor of education at Johns Hopkins University Press, in a letter of nomination. “The Fellowship is not the only tool needed to make the scholarly publishing industry more representative of the community of scholars with which it collaborates,” Gipson continued. “It must be deployed alongside other strategies to hire and retain people of color in publishing across departments and at various levels, including upper levels of management. However, it represents an important step and Larin’s work developing the pipeline program has helped nudge the scholarly publishing industry in that direction.”

In addition, McLaughlin served as founding co-chair, with Gita Manaktala—editorial director of the MIT Press and the 2019 Constituency Award recipient—of the Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force in 2017. Members of this task force drafted the Association’s Statement on Equity and Anti-Racism and informed the creation of a full standing committee in 2019, devoted to continuing equity, justice, and inclusion work in scholarly publishing.

Prior to joining the staff of the University of Washington Press in 2014, McLaughlin served as an acquiring editor at the University of Illinois Press and SUNY Press. Her highly collaborative acquisitions work, influenced by regular participation in the Ford Foundation Fellowship conferences, has contributed to such fields as Native American and Indigenous studies; Asian American studies; African American studies; critical ethnic studies; and women's, gender, and sexuality studies. She has also served the Association over the past decade as a member and chair of the Professional Development Committee and on the Library Relations and Faculty Outreach Committees.

The Association recognizes and thanks McLaughlin for her work and her ongoing commitment to a more equitable future for the people who comprise the community of university presses.

Created in 1991, the AUPresses Constituency Award recognizes staff at member presses who have demonstrated active leadership and service to the Association and the university press community. View the full honor roll.

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 integrity, diversity, stewardship, and intellectual freedom 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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