Position Description
Press University of Michigan Press
Acquisitions Editorial
Editorial Director


Further info and applications via: http://careers.umich.edu/job_detail/177535/editorial_director

Founded in 1930, the University of Michigan Press is a nonprofit scholarly publisher that publishes 100 new books annually, mostly academic monographs. With around 3,000 titles in print, the University of Michigan Press is best known for its lists in the performing arts (music, theater, dance, media); classical and medieval studies; political science; American studies; and East Asian studies. It also supports small but distinguished series in German studies, African studies, and Disability studies. The Digital Culture Books imprint is a leader in innovative digital scholarship and the Fulcrum publishing platform, created in-house, has expanded the opportunities authors have to publish multi-modal scholarship across the Press’s lists. The Press is also a pioneer in refining the business models to support academic monographs. It has recently launched its own ebook collection for sale to libraries and has been able to publish an increasing proportion of the Press’s academic monographs in open access format.

The Editorial Director leads the scholarly acquisitions department of the Press and coordinates its editorial vision while also managing and developing a list of their own. The Editorial Director develops and implements policies and procedures within the acquisitions department and represents the Press throughout the university, the academy at large, and at professional conferences and meetings. The Editorial Director also works closely with the Director and other members of the senior management team to develop and implement the Press's strategic agenda. Central to this agenda is continual improvement of publishing processes, including expanding the accessibility of ebooks and supporting new forms of digital scholarship.

The Press is an integral part of Michigan Publishing, the publishing division of the University of Michigan Library. English Language Teaching (ELT) is a separate department of the Press, respected globally for its higher education language learning textbooks and training materials, as is Great Lakes regional publishing, a regional text and trade program. ELT and Great Lakes Regional do not report to the Editorial Director. Michigan Publishing also includes repository and research data services for the University (including the institutional repository) and a publishing services unit. Finding opportunities to work together across these different entities to better serve the changing needs of authors is encouraged.

The library is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce and encourages all employees to fully incorporate their diverse backgrounds, skills, and life experiences into their work and towards the fulfillment of the library's mission.


  • Facilitate, manage, and coordinate the work of the scholarly acquisitions department of the University of Michigan Press, which currently consists of four in-house acquiring editors, three editorial associates/assistants, and one part-time, local editor-at-large.

  • Manage and develop a book list within the humanities or social sciences, soliciting and reviewing prospective manuscripts for publication, preparing acquisition proposals based on reviews, and acquiring 20+ new titles annually. Remain current with trends in those specific areas of focus.

  • Establish acquiring editors' signing and transmittal goals and meet regularly with them to assess their progress.

  • Develop the skills of all members of the department to further their professional growth.

  • Develop productive and collegial working relationships with key faculty both locally and at other campuses and help acquisitions editorial staff develop and build upon their relationships with key faculty in their areas of focus.

  • Remain current with new publishing trends and cutting-edge developments. Use this knowledge to develop new publishing ideas and to contribute to the development of long-term Press strategy.

  • Perform/manage all necessary editorial aspects of the publishing process while working closely, collaboratively and collegially with all departments in a publishing operation.

  • Represent the acquisitions function in operational contexts, working closely with Production, Marketing, Finance, and Technology. 

  • Maintain excellent relationships with other managers at the Press as well as authors, series editors, and the faculty editorial board.


  • An undergraduate degree in any field and 8 or more years experience in acquiring books, or an equivalent amount of experience and education.

  • Ability to travel as needed to professional conferences and to other campuses. Travel is anticipated to be about 10-15%.

  • Ability to work collaboratively with leadership and staff in all departments of a publishing organization.

  • Demonstrated understanding of publishing finances.

  • Understands and values diversity and the importance of inclusion. Commitment to apply and incorporate the differences, complexities, and opportunities that diversity brings to an organization.


  • Engagement with new forms of digital scholarship and alternative business models such as open access.

  • Experience in acquiring academic books.

  • At least 3 years experience leading, developing, and managing staff, especially acquisitions editors.

  • Advanced degree in the humanities or social sciences.

  • Experience in process improvement.


May require evening or weekend work during occasional special events


U-M offers excellent benefits and wellness opportunities. This position receives 24 days of vacation a year, and 15 days of sick leave a year with provisions for extended benefits, as well as opportunities for professional development and travel. TIAA-CREF and Fidelity Investments retirement options available.


Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.


The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.