Succession Planning

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Succession Planning

The great demographic flood of baby boomers is reaching retirement age and the impact of a massive changing of the guard is beginning to affect university presses. The announcement that a long-serving director or senior manager has chosen a retirement date immediately raises expectations and stress. Because universities operate on a time-honored system of search committees which result in long periods of uncertainty and sometimes in uninformed judgment, tensions can build within presses. How can presses plan for future staffing needs? Are the ideas of stated orderly succession that have become common in corporate environments an anathema to the institutional principles of openness and transparent hiring practices? How can a press harvest and preserve the vast range of knowledge about its list and culture that a senior staffer has accumulated over a half a lifetime of service? How can a press groom staff to step into key positions? Are presses dedicating financial resources to succession planning? Directors and other organizational experts discuss strategies for long-range staffing in complex public and private educational organizations.

Moderator: Peter Milroy, Director, University of British Columbia Press

Panelists: Pat Soden, Director, University of Washington Press; Holly Carver, Director, University of Iowa Press; Lynne Withey, Director, University of California Press

Please feel free to add notes or responses to the panel below.

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