Position Description
Press Northwestern University Press
Director of the Northwestern University Press


POSITION TITLE:  Director of the Northwestern University Press

REPORTS TO:  Dean of Libraries/University Librarian

POSITION TYPE:  Full-time Exempt Staff

LOCATION:  Evanston Campus




Northwestern University is seeking a dynamic and innovative publishing professional to lead the University Press. Reporting to the Dean of Libraries, the Press advances Northwestern’s academic goals in research, learning and global scholarship.  The Director establishes the strategic vision for the organization, and manages all operations of the Press. The University Press has a staff of 15 and publishes approximately 60 titles per year across the humanities spectrum, both scholarly and creative work.  Net sales approach $1.5 million annually.  The Press has enjoyed strong support from the University, from external funders and from the wider community of authors and publishers, and has demonstrated years of stability in its editorial and business practices.  The Director of the Press is a member of the University Libraries Leadership Team, and works directly with library managers in areas related to personnel, information technology, development, scholarly communication and strategic planning.


  • General oversight of all aspects of the Northwestern University Press including acquisitions, editorial, design, production, marketing, sales, and business departments
  • Shaping the overall business, editorial, and dissemination strategies of the press with an awareness of current trends in scholarly communication, and of the university's academic strengths and priorities
  • Preparing and executing budgets; projecting and meeting long and short range financial and editorial plans
  • Overseeing department staffing (e.g. interviewing, hiring, training, evaluations, etc.)
  • Communicating and collaborating with University stakeholders, including administration, faculty, staff, and the faculty editorial board
  • Acting as liaison to the Press's external partners and vendors, including campus partners, other presses, funding agencies, printers, order fulfillment, and warehousing facilities
  • Managing the primary partnership with campus library staff for support of technology, HR, and various aspects of scholarly communication and strategic planning.
  • Representing the University Press at community and University functions and serving in other public relations capacities as required
  • Working with foundation relations and development staff to pursue opportunities for external funding and engagement
  • Taking responsibility for related tasks and relationships that emerge from the work of the Press.


Candidates should have a proven record of success in the publishing industry and in collaborating with a diverse array of disciplines and stakeholders. Qualifications include:

Minimum Education and Experience:

  • A master's degree or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable skills can be acquired
  • At least 7 years formal professional experience in academic book publishing, including at least 4 years progressively more responsible management experience
  • Demonstrated deep knowledge of all aspects of scholarly and general interest book publishing including finance, operations, editorial, marketing, and production
  • Experience managing financial assets responsibly with a focus on cost effectiveness and productivity
  • Ability to formulate strategic initiatives, and to envision and anticipate changes that may impact the Press in the context of higher education, publishing, and the digital information environment
  • Record of professional involvement, service or scholarship.
  • Strong commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in human resources/employee management processes, editorial strategies, and external relations

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Evidence of fundraising and development success
  • Experience writing grant proposals and supervising funded projects
  • Leadership in digital publishing, scholarly communications, and open access publishing
  • Demonstrated success in expanding markets for both print and digital products
  • Demonstrated achievement in innovating within the rapidly evolving publishing environment, and an understanding of best practices found among university presses nationwide.
  • Enthusiasm for learning organization principles and readiness to embrace Northwestern University organizational values.



Northwestern University is a highly selective private university with campuses in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois and in Doha, Qatar.  The Northwestern University Press was first established in 1893 to publish legal periodicals, and reorganized as a scholarly press in 1957.  It has deep strengths in philosophy, literature, poetry, literary criticism, critical ethnic studies, theatre, African-American studies, Slavic studies, and regional nonfiction.  Prestigious authors first published by Northwestern University Press have been the recipients of numerous prizes, including the Nobel Prize in Literature and the National Book Award.  The Press’s award-winning imprint, TriQuarterly Books, is devoted primarily to contemporary American fiction and poetry. In 2010, Northwestern University Press acquired the prestigious publisher of world literature Curbstone Press.  The Press is located on the edge of Northwestern’s Evanston campus in its own building at 629 Noyes Street.

One of the leading private research libraries in the United States, Northwestern University Libraries serve the educational and information needs of the NU community as well as scholars around the world.  The collections contains more than 7 million volumes, a full array of digital resources, and renowned holdings in Africana, transportation, and 20th-century and contemporary music.  Services deliver a full range of support for research, teaching and scholarly communication in both print and digital media.  The Northwestern Libraries are members of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA); and participate as a team with the Press in national collaborative events sponsored by those organizations and others.

First consideration for applications received by May 31st, 2020.

Please apply for this position on the NUHR Recruitment Website. In accordance with Northwestern University policy, the successful applicant will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.

Equal Opportunity:

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.