UW-Madison: Leary Selected as Interim Director of UW Press

CONTACT: Sheila Leary, (608) 263-0795, [email protected]

MADISON – Sheila Leary, a 22-year veteran of university press book publishing, has been selected as interim director of the University of Wisconsin Press, effective Aug. 22.

In announcing the selection, Graduate School Dean Martin Cadwallader notes that Leary will bring a wealth of experience and leadership skills to the job. “During her 22 years in the field, Sheila has served in a variety of professional roles and has accumulated a broad knowledge of the university press industry,” Cadwallader says.

Leary will also lend important continuity as the press continues to refine its publishing focus and respond to new technology opportunities, he adds.

Leary, currently outreach director for UW Press, has been with office since 1990, when she began as assistant marketing manager. She served as marketing and sales manager from 1995-2001 and as outreach director from 2001 to present.

“The UW Press has gone through a period of extraordinary growth, but market and budgetary issues are requiring us to define ourselves a bit more,” Leary says. “We plan to focus on our publishing strengths.”

Its core mission will continue to be regional books with a focus on Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest, she says. Other focal points include scholarship in European history, Latino and Latin American studies, Slavic and Jewish studies and African studies, to name a few areas.

Another goal in coming years will be to identify other viable publishing forms and expand offerings in areas such as DVD, CD-Rom, digital publishing and online delivery of books and journals, she says.

Cadwallader also thanked Susan Cook for her recent service to the press. Cook, a music professor and executive director of the Arts Institute, stepped in to lead the press after former director Robert Mandel resigned in March 2005, and helped the press make headway on a backlog of manuscripts. Cook will continue as the new chair of the University Press Committee.

Before coming to Madison, Leary worked at the University of Chicago Press from 1984-1990 as a copywriter and promotions manager; and at Arthur Andersen & Co. in Chicago from 1981-1983 as a proofreader and editor.

A native of Rice Lake, Wis., Leary took courses at the University of Wisconsin-Barron County while in high school and went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in linguistics in 1981 from Stanford University. She then joined the professional publishing program at the University of Chicago School of Continuing Education.