Peter Berkery, Executive Director of the Association of American University Presses, stopped by the University of Washington Press offices in Seattle last week as part of his Mellon-funded tour of the AAUP member presses. Peter agreed to sit down and chat with us about what he’s learned from what he calls his “Listening Tour” so far, as well as other thoughts about the changing landscape of scholarly publishing and the value of university presses to their regions and host institutions.
Thanks to Peter for taking the time to answer our questions so thoughtfully and we look forward to hearing further reflections as his listening tour continues. Follow the Listening Tour on the AAUP Digital Digest.
Question: First of all, what inspired you to start the Listening Tour and how has your approach to the meetings with presses evolved over time?
Peter Berkery: The Listening Tour was born of necessity, when I took over the reins at AAUP last March, but quickly became a labor of love. The initial goal was to embrace more aggressively my own learning curve; I knew from prior association management experience that there’s no substitute for meeting with members in their own offices to quickly and fully grasp the challenges and opportunities they—and by extension their association—face. What I wasn’t anticipating was the overwhelmingly warm welcomes and serial invitations I’d receive.