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UC Press gets new director

December 2, 2010 |  6:38 pm


The University of California Press, one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious academic publishers, is hiring veteran publishing executive Alison Mudditt to be its next director, officials said Thursday. She will take over the job next month, when Lynne Withey, who has been director of the Berkeley-based press since 2002, is scheduled to retire.

"This is somebody who has a deep understanding of scholarly communication and what academic publishing is all about. But she also has this very strong appreciation of commercial publishing," Daniel Greenstein, the UC system’s vice provost for academic planning and programs, said of the British-born Mudditt. Greenstein, who oversees the UC Press, also noted Mudditt’s experience in launching several initiatives in digital publishing, an area that the press has pursued in recent years.

UC Press publishes on average 200 books and 40 journals a year and has 120 employees. It is now experiencing a rush of international acclaim and very strong sales of the first volume of the new version of the "Autobiography of Mark Twain," produced by the Mark Twain Project at UC Berkeley.

Mudditt had been executive vice president in charge of higher education programs for about seven years at SAGE Publications, a Thousand Oaks-based press that has a large business in college textbooks, scholarly journals and electronic media. She has also held positions at such publishers as Taylor & Francis in Philadelphia and Blackwell in Oxford, England.  According to the UC regents' motion approving her hire, Mudditt's annual salary will be $244,900.

Larry Gordon