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Re: Patrick Alexander Named Associate Director of Penn State Press

March 19,2007
For immediate release

Patrick Alexander Appointed as New University Press Associate
Director and Editor-in-Chief

University Park, PA--Culminating a yearlong search, Penn State 
University Press-an administrative unit of the University 
Libraries-is pleased to announce the appointment of Patrick H. 
Alexander as its new associate director and editor-in-chief 
effective March 6, 2007.

Previously Alexander served as vice president and publishing 
director for the North American operation of De 
Gruyter-Mouton-K.G. Saur Publishers, Inc., a subsidiary of Walter 
de Gruyter, GmbH & Co. KG of Berlin, Germany. He began his 
publishing career in 1986 as associate editor with Hendrickson 
Publishers, Inc. of Peabody, Massachusetts, an academic/trade 
house specializing in religious studies. He became academic 
editor there in 1990 and senior academic editor in 1992, before 
accepting the position of editorial director in 1995. He joined 
Brill Academic Publishers, Inc. and Brill USA, Inc., located in 
Boston, Massachusetts, as vice president and publishing director 
in 2000 before moving to De Gruyter in 2005.

Alexander has been a frequent speaker at publishing workshops for 
aspiring authors, and he is co-editor of The SBL Handbook of 
Style: For Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, and Early Christian 
Studies (Society of Biblical Literature, 1999). He also spent a 
year as teaching faculty at Southwest Missouri State University. 
He serves on the publishing advisory boards for Pace University 
in New York City and, from 2003 to 2005, was treasurer and a 
member of the board of directors of the International Catacomb 
Society, a private foundation based in Boston, Massachusetts.

At Penn State University Press, Alexander inherits a flourishing 
book-publishing program. The Press reached its 50th anniversary 
in 2006, which was greeted as a "cause for celebration for 
everyone who cares about the dissemination of knowledge and the 
future of publishing" by Patricia Schroeder, former member of 
Congress who is the president and CEO of the Association of 
American Publishers. As she said on this occasion, the Press "is 
a vital, thriving answer to the Cassandras who have predicted the 
death of print publishing in general, and scholarly publishing in 
particular, as the inevitable 'collateral damage' of our digital 
Brave New World. In recent decades, Penn State Press has set an 
example for others in all corners of the publishing world, 
finding ways to turn potential threats into opportunities, 
meeting the challenges of technology without sacrificing the 
standards of intellectual excellence that have been the hallmark 
of its publishing program." Graham Spanier, President of Penn 
State, paid tribute to the Press as "still relevant, still 
supporting great ideas, and still deeply committed to serving 
academe, its scholars, and society."

Alexander will serve as the Press's co-director of the Office of 
Digital Scholarly Publishing, a joint venture of the Libraries 
and Press at Penn State launched in spring 2005, which is 
developing low-cost and experimental publishing services. He will 
share this responsibility with Michael Furlough, who came on 
board as assistant dean of scholarly communications in the 
Libraries in September 2006.

In an interview in June 2006 with Katina Strauch, editor of 
Against the Grain, Alexander was asked about the future of 
scholarly publishing. He replied: "Scholarly publishing faces 
obstacles and opportunities that differ from those of trade 
publishing. And within scholarly publishing, STM [scientific, 
technical, and medical] and humanities publishers face different 
challenges. Pressures like Open Access, institutional 
repositories, shrinking library budgets, and ease of worldwide 
communication will force publishers-as they are doing already-to 
create and implement new business models, to find ways of 
enhancing the value of content, and to become more aggressive in 
the marketplace. On the plus side, these new business models will 
mean a publisher's content can be used more effectively and more 
widely. The distinction between 'book' and 'journal' and 
'reference' will blur because the content in a book, journal, or 
reference work can be repurposed to suit endless scenarios. 
Traditional print-runs of academic titles will diminish to 
one-off, on-demand volumes. Research itself will take on new 
forms, with monographs, theses, and dissertations being at times 
entirely digital, including film clips, audio samples, and 

Established in 1956 as the publishing arm of Penn State, the 
Press is dedicated to serving the University community, the 
citizens of Pennsylvania, and scholars worldwide by publishing 
books and journals of the highest quality. The Press promotes the 
advance of scholarship by disseminating knowledge-new 
information, interpretations, and methods of analysis-with an 
emphasis on core fields of the humanities and social sciences. 
The Press issues about fifty new books annually and publishes 
eleven journals.

editor's contact: Catherine Grigor, manager of Public Relations 
and Marketing, University Libraries, cqg3@psu.edu, 814-863-4240.

Sanford G. Thatcher, Director
Penn State University Press
University Park, PA 16802-1003
e-mail: sgt3@psu.edu