Professional Development and Education


The AUPresses 2021 Annual Meeting, originally scheduled to be held in Montréal, was held virtually because of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

The 2021 Annual Meeting Program Committee, chaired by Jocelyn Dawson (Duke), developed a program with powerful plenaries, informative concurrent sessions, interactive collaboration labs, and networking events taking place over 2 weeks, from June 7-June 18.

Highlights of AUPrresses 2021, which was attended by more than 1000 individuals (a record number), included an opening plenary with Nikole Hannah-Jones, 2020 Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times journalist and founder of the 1619 Project, and Jeffrey Stewart, author of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Biography, The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke (Oxford University Press), and professor of Black Studies at UC Santa Barbara; Lisa Lucas, Senior Vice President at Knopf Doubleday, discussing Imagining our Way to a More Equitable Literature; Autistic Trainer and Educator Jorik Mol talking A Neurodivergent World—An Introduction to Neurodiversity in University Publishing; and a closing plenary with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, queer disabled femme writer, cultural worker and educator, discussing Cripping Literature: Disability Justice Writers Destroying and Remaking the Literary World As We Know It.

Virtual networking events included a networking session for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) colleagues, networking breakfasts and breakout rooms for a wide array of interest groups, a trivia tournament, and a socially distanced (in some cases, by oceans!) 5K. 

Twelve companies sponsored AUPresses 2021 and twenty-one companies were virtual exhibitors.  

In late 2021, AUPresses announced that it was re-envisioning its Annual Meeting format. Responding to the evolving event landscape, the AUPresses Annual Meeting will alternate yearly between an in-person event and a virtual one beginning in 2022.


The Cross-Pollination Conference Registration Grants aim to promote greater interconnectivity between members of the Association of University Presses and the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC). The program helps up to two people from each organization’s membership to attend the other’s annual meeting. The AUPresses Library Relations Committee and the LPC Program Committee coordinate this registration waiver program. 

In 2021, Hannah Brooks-Motl (Amherst/Lever) and Maia Desjardins (Wilfrid Laurier) received registration waiver grants to attend the virtual Library Publishing Forum; Robert Browder (Virginia Tech) and Sarah Wipperman (Villanova) received registration waiver grants to attend the virtual AUPresses 2021. Read their experience reports on the Digital Digest. The program is being offered again for the in-person 2022 Annual Conferences.


The pandemic pressed the Association’s Professional Development Committee to move the Meeting Mentorship Program to an exclusively virtual format. The committee matched 56 mentor and mentee pairs who connected via phone, email, and video call between June 2021-June 2022.


The Association’s 2022 Financial Officers’ Meeting took place on April 20-22 with a hybrid format with participants attending virtually or in-person in Lexington, KY. The meeting, which drew 92 registrants, evenly split between virtual and in-person, was hosted by Teresa Collins (Kentucky) and Erik Smist (Johns Hopkins). Collins was the head of the planning committee that created the agenda and coordinated the meeting. Planning committee members included Smist, Rosalyn Carr (Alabama), Susan Doerr (Minnesota), and Debra Eubanks (American Psychiatric Association).


With the support of the Association’s Professional Development Committee, the following webinars were held to share information and resources. Webinars were recorded and are publicly accessible.

Burnout: How to Spot it and Take Action 
In this January 2022 webinar, sponsored by Jack Farrell & Associates, a line-up of expert panelists defined and identified what burnout is and provided recommendations on how individuals can handle burnout at home and in the workplace. The session was moderated by Joe Rusko (Johns Hopkins) and Nicole Solano (Rutgers) with panelists George S. Everly, Jr, PhD, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health; Nicole Foster, MA, Wellness Coach; Susan Noonan, MD, Mental Health Peer Specialist; and Donna Gaffney, DNSc, Rutgers University. One hundred and fifty-seven individuals attended.

From Passion to Action: Introducing and Using the C4DISC Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations and Presses
The Equity, Justice, and Inclusion (EJI) Committee organized this introduction to C4DSIC’s latest guide developed to disrupt racism and transform scholarly publishing. The session, which took place in November 2021, featured toolkit leaders and contributors David Congdon (Kansas), Stephanie Pollock (American Psychological Association), and Damita Snow (American Society of Civil Engineers). Facilitated by Ellen Bush (North Carolina) and Christie Henry (Princeton), this webinar drew 105 attendants.


In 2021-22, the Association hosted a series of webinars presented by sponsors:

Building an Online Community and Maximizing Online Book Marketing and Sales
In March 2022, Supadu’s Sarah Arbuthnot explored social media marketing, building an online community, engaging visitors through content, and providing an easy path to purchase, as ways to maximize online book sales. The session drew 82 attendants.

The Future of Audiobooks for University Presses
In December 2021, Michele Cobb, the Executive Director of the Audio Publishers Association, discussed Audiobooks: A Look at the Market; and Bill Wolfsthal of Speechki, present presented Synthetic Narration and How It Can Help You Produce Audiobooks. Th session was sponsored by Speechki. Eighty-eight individuals attended.

How to Monetize Your Backlist
In October 2021 Supadu’s Commercial and Partnerships Director Sarah Arbuthnot discussed ways to enhance title visibility for backlist titles and boost backlist sales on a press’s website. The session drew 84 attendants.

Managing the Publisher-to-Author Relationship Online with Ease
In October 2021, publishing and technology experts from FADEL demonstrated the latest technology innovations thatinstantly modernize the author experience without a large IT investment. Forty-four individuals registered for the event.


An informal and interactive way to learn more about the topics that interest our community most, the AUPresses “Let’s Talk About…” Hangout series offers lively discussions with plenty of opportunity for Q&A. Association committees organize these sessions.

This year’s “Let’s Talk About…” series featured conversations addressing Virtual Exhibits, PR and Media Monitoring Tools, and Getting Started with Making Accessible Ebooks. 

The Board of Directors hosted a special hangout, Meet the AUPresses Board: Demystifying AUPresses Board of Directors Service, to provide an overview of Association volunteer service.

The EJI Committee continued its monthly series of hangouts intended to activate press directors in equity work.


Developed by the Acquisitions Editorial Committee, the Art of Acquisitions Hangouts feature lively sessions with moderated panels, active audience Q&A, and Twitter chats using the #artofACQ tag. These sessions address a variety of topics of special interest to the acquisitions community. This year’s hangouts have featured discussions about hiring for acquisitions departments, acquiring at virtual conferences, and sponsoring trade books.


The AUPresses Residency Program provides opportunities for individuals at Association member presses to advance their professional knowledge, strengthen operations at their home presses, and foster professional collegiality throughout the community. Offering staff at member presses intensive, hands-on residencies of up to one week at other member presses, the program is one of the Association’s most effective professional development initiatives, benefitting both host and home presses alike.

The Professional Development Committee administers the program.

No grants were awarded in 2021-22 because of the pandemic travel restrictions. The Association hopes to resume the program in fall 2022.


The Directors Residency Program is modeled after the Association’s Week-in-Residence Program. This program provides travel funding to directors at smaller member presses to spend a few days visiting with and learning from another member press.

No grants were awarded in 2021-22 because of continuing pandemic travel restrictions. The Association hopes to resume the program in fall 2022.