We have two promotions to announce, along with news of the formation of a new leadership team to share. Katherine Purple is now our Editorial, Design and Production (EDP) Strategic Manager, and Bryan Shaffer is now our Sales and Marketing Strategic Manger. Both will work on projects across all of Scholarly Publishing. Further, they will join Nina Collins, Scholarly Publishing Specialist, and me as members of our newly formed Scholarly Publishing leadership team.
At Purdue, we are not like anyone else. We were among the first to bring together our university press, publishing services and institutional repository to begin to build something greater than the sum of their parts. Others have begun to follow suit. Few are up ahead to show us the way.
As a quote from a Purdue English faculty member, Roxane Gay, notes, “When you can’t find someone to follow, you have to find a way to lead by example.” I have this on a cabinet in my office. It beautifully sums our lot in Libraries and Scholarly Publishing: we can, and indeed we must, do things differently.
Traditional university-based publishers (u presses) are highly hierarchical or ‘patriarchal’ in structure, and many still run as they did many years ago, like mid-last-century “Father-Knows-Best” shops. Judith Butler was the first I heard point out that the opposite of patriarchy isn’t matriarchy; it’s fraternity.
Put differently: Teams beat individuals. Diversity strengthens thinking and speeds innovation.
We can learn from advances in cross-functional teamwork and collaborative leadership, in so far as we have the courage to step out from tradition. So thank you to Katherine, Bryan and Nina for stepping up (and out) in new ways, and a round of applause for our whole team in STEW 190 and for all teams across Libraries for rising to this challenge Gay so well describes. Together we can continue to de-silo and disrupt received ideas of how others do things (did things) as we continue to explore and define what’s possible in 21st century scholarly publishing.