Thursday, 28 February 2013
The University of Otago has appointed a new Publisher to head up its flagship publishing house, Otago University Press.
Rachel Scott, formerly Canterbury University Press publisher for the past five years, starts at Otago University Press in early March, following the retirement in April of Wendy Harrex, who leaves after 20 years in the role of Publisher.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise Professor Richard Blaikie welcomes Rachel to OUP - one of New Zealand’s oldest and most successful University presses.
“We are extremely fortunate to have attracted a person of Rachel’s qualifications and calibre to this role, and we are all very much looking forward to working with her,” he says.
“We also wish her predecessor Wendy well for her future endeavours. Her dedicated service has resulted in a wide range of publications that have kept Otago University Press in extremely high standing.”
Each year Otago publishes about 20 scholarly and general books on subjects within New Zealand and the Pacific, with special emphasis on history, literature, the arts and natural and social sciences. Books about the South Island and Otago University also feature strongly. The Press also publishes New Zealand's longest-running literary journal, Landfall; as well as other poetry and educational titles. Under the stewardship of Wendy Harrex, the Press has grown from a small part-time operation to a highly regarded international publishing house.
Publisher Rachel Scott’s early career includes freelance book editing and designing for almost two decades prior to her role with the Canterbury University Press, working for a number of publishers. She also spent 10 years as a sub-editor at the New Zealand Listener, as well as seven years teaching sub-editing to journalism diploma students at the University of Canterbury.
Rachel says she is looking forward to the move to Dunedin and to her new position.
“The role means more books, more staff and more challenge. It will be great to be part of a team of people all working towards the same end: production of great books,” she says.
The move has significance for her on a personal level too.
“My forebears settled near Dunedin in 1848, and although I have never lived there, in some senses I feel as if I am coming home. I am very excited about it all.”
Her job will involve acquiring books and project-managing them to publication.
She aims to continue to build the profile of OUP in New Zealand and overseas by continuing to produce high-quality, high-calibre books, and also to develop an ebook list.
Wendy says that among the highlights of her twenty-year career at Otago University Press is becoming Landfall’s publisher when the Press purchased Landfall magazine in 1994, and being President of the Book Publishers Association.
“I also enjoyed working to bring about change in the industry, and, always, the wonderful authors and books I have worked with,” she says.
Publisher, University of Otago Press
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