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UC Press Director Lynne Withey to retire at year’s end

Photo by Peg Skorpinski

On Sept. 1, UC Press Director Lynne Withey announced her intention to retire from her position at the end of 2010, a decision several years in the making.

“I’ve been director for nine years now. It’s time for new ideas,” she said. “The staff and departments are all very strong, and the management team is extremely talented. It’s inspiring to see tremendous energy, intelligence, and creativity come to fruition at UC Press.”

Withey’s tenure was during a pivotal period for UC Press. She endured during the challenges of the recession, ultimately guiding UC Press to a solid financial state, where it remains today. Under her leadership, UC Press entered the largely uncharted era of digital publishing and expanded its distinguished publishing program to embrace a number of vital new disciplines. And she grew a strong staff that can carry UC Press into a bright future.

“Lynne has provided vision and leadership for UC Press and for university presses nationally, articulating strategies for sustaining these essential academic enterprises in an industry that is undergoing fundamental transformation,” said University of California Vice Provost of Academic Affairs Daniel Greenstein. “Lynne leaves UC Press with a sterling reputation for impeccable quality and an able and creative staff, and in sound financial shape. But of her many accomplishments, she will be remembered within UC as a wonderful colleague, manager, publisher, and friend.”

Withey joined UC Press in 1986 as Assistant Director and was named UC Press Director in 2002. She served as President of the Association of American University Presses from 2005–06. She also worked as an acquisitions editor and played a major role in shaping editorial programs. Withey holds an A.B. from Smith College and a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. She has taught at UC Berkeley, the University of Iowa and Boston University, and is the author of four books. Prior to joining UC Press, she worked in the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs in the University of California’s statewide administration.

Her litany of accomplishments as director include fostering a 35% increase in annual book and journal sales (from $19.3 million in 2002 to a high of $26 million in 2008) and significant growth of the UC Press Foundation. In 2009 the Foundation successfully completed a $5 million campaign—an unprecedented achievement among peer institutions.

Withey will continue to serve on the UC Press Foundation board, among others. A national search for her replacement is underway.

About UC Press

With approximately 200 new books and 40 journals published annually and 4,000 titles in print, University of California Press represents an international cast of authors working both within and outside the academy. About one-fourth are affiliated with the University of California.

UC Press’ mission is to advance scholarship and learning by developing and disseminating books, journals, and digital resources of enduring value to scholars, students, library users, policymakers and readers worldwide.

Founded in 1893, UC Press is one of the largest and most distinguished scholarly publishers in the nation. Among peer university presses of its size, UC Press is the only one in the West and the only one associated with a public university.

Comments ( 2 )

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  1. Sally Philbin September 7, 2010 Reply

    Hi Lynn,

    It has been a long time since we worked together when I was in OP-HR Compensation, but I remember you with respect and appreciation. I wish you the best as you move on to do different and wonderful things in the future.

    Sally Philbin

  2. Sally Philbin September 7, 2010 Reply

    Hi Lynne,

    Sorry for the mispelled name in my first comment. The fingers don’t always cooperate.


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