Monday, November 11, 2013

Staff Profile: Director David Rosenbaum

Today is a very exciting day for the University of Missouri Press. Not only do we get to be featured on the first day of the AAUP's University Press Week blog tour, but we also get to introduce UMP's new director, David Rosenbaum!

Dave started with UMP just ten days ago, and both he and the Press share a mutual excitement about the prospect of having a permanent director in place for the first time in over five years.

Previously, Dave has experience as the director of product development and project management for the American Heart Association, senior acquisitions editor at Elsevier, senior acquisitions editor at Delmar Cengage Learning, and senior publisher and production manager at the Iowa State University Press.

I sat down with Dave to find out how his transition back to the world of scholarly publishing has been going so far, and what his plans are for the future of UMP.

Dave admits that there has been a substantial adjustment moving from Dallas to Columbia, but said that he prefers the comparatively more "cozy" Columbia to the metropolitan feel of a big city. The difference between the campuses of the University of Missouri and Iowa State University - the last campus that Dave worked closely with - is also a noticeable one. Not only larger in size, Dave believes that Mizzou's campus has "more excitement, more spirit" than any other campus he has visited.

The prospect of being back at a university press excites Dave, and one major reason why is the difference in cultures between commercial and scholarly publishing. Although much of the actual work done at both kinds of presses is similar, the culture of cooperation between university presses varies considerably from the culture of competition between commercial publishers. Dave's extensive experience in both areas of publishing gives him a vast wealth of experience to draw on as he transitions from his most recent role at the American Heart Association into his new role at UMP.

When I asked Dave what his favorite book published by UMP was, he told me that Louis S. Gerteis' The Civil War in Missouri: A Military History stuck out to him. He liked the book because, in addition to having an innate curiosity about the Civil War, much of Civil War history tends to focus heavily on other states, such as Virginia. The mostly untold story of the how the Civil War impacted Missouri piqued his curiosity, both as a reader and a new Missouri resident.

The first major project that the Press has undertaken on Dave's watch is an in-depth analysis of the success of our published works in specific areas, determining which areas have been the most beneficial to the Press in recent history. As UMP strives to be more sustainable, a narrowing of the Press's focus areas serves as a major step toward greater financial stability.

When asked what his first impressions of the Press were, Dave said that he had less of an impression of UMP, and more of a realization: that the University of Missouri Press must have a stronger connection to the University of Missouri itself. He told me that he believes UMP has a chance to be "an integral part" of fulfilling the University's mission, and that one year from now, the Press will be "more closely tied to the University of Missouri than it has ever been before."

Continue to check in here daily for updates about University Press Week, and be sure to keep an eye out for #UPWeek hashtags on Twitter and Facebook!

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