June 07, 2005

SIUC names Adkins to direct University Press

by Pete Rosenbery


Arthur M. Adkins

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Arthur M. "Lain" Adkins, who has 20 years experience with university presses in Oklahoma and Chicago, is the new director of the SIU Press. John M. Dunn, provost and vice chancellor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, announced the appointment today (Tuesday, June 7).

Adkins' appointment, which is subject to ratification by the SIU Board of Trustees, is effective July 18.

Adkins is an "outstanding" candidate, Dunn said, noting that those familiar with the business of university presses will "acknowledge that we have attracted an outstanding individual."

"We are delighted that Lain Adkins has agreed to join the University. He brings many years of experience, talent and creativity to SIU Press and we are pleased to make this selection.

"We have a very good University Press, and we are confident that Mr. Adkins' appointment will help expand and strengthen our press," Dunn said.

Adkins, 58, is currently the books division manager of the University of Chicago Press, a post he has held since 2001. While there, Adkins has the fiscal, administrative and operational responsibility for book publishing at the largest U.S. university press, publishing 280 books annually. He supervises approximately 100 employees in the areas of editorial, book production, sales, marketing, information technology, accounting and administration.

Prior to that, Adkins was associate director of the University of Oklahoma Press from 1999 to 2001. Adkins was a director at large for the Association of American University Presses for one year, and from 1990 to 1998, an assistant director of finance and operations of the University of Oklahoma Press. He also served as a business manager and associate director of the University of Oklahoma Press in the mid- to late 1970s.

Adkins also has previous experience as a certified public accountant and controller.

Adkins initially came to SIUC as a consultant to the SIU Press, but was so impressed with the administration, faculty and staff that he decided to apply for the job.

"SIU Press has a long and excellent publishing history," said Adkins, noting the press publishes in some areas he enjoys publishing in – rhetoric, theater studies and regional studies.

Adkins said his first goal is "working with the administration on a strategic plan to work with the University to decide what to publish. The strengths of the press should in some ways mirror the strength of the University or augment those strengths."

SIU Press, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary next February, has published more than 2,000 books, and earned notice and approval of distinguished review media as The New York Times and the Times Literary Supplement, in addition to receiving many awards for its publications. SIU Press publishes between 55 and 60 books a year, and ranks in the upper half of the approximately 110 American university presses.

Adkins and his wife, Holly Carver, have two grown children and three grandchildren. Holly Carver is director of the University of Iowa Press in Iowa City.

Recruiting and retaining high-quality faculty and staff is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.