CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (650) 723-2558
STANFORD -- Norris Pope has been named director of the Stanford University Press, effective immediately. Pope has been serving as acting director at the press since Sept. 1, 1992, when Grant Barnes, the previous director, stepped down.
In addition to serving as director of the Press, Pope will continue in his role as editor-in-chief.
Asked about his plans for the Press, Pope said, "We want to continue to do - and improve upon - what we already do very well, which is to publish a highly distinguished and, we hope, interesting academic list of well-produced books.
"Over time, we'll certainly wish to add some new fields of publication, as opportunities arise and intellectual possibilities shift and develop," he said. "We naturally want to make the finances work in a more stringent environment, and we want to move to some degree into the world of electronic publishing, as this becomes a more ordinary means for disseminating refereed scholarship."
Pope said he remains enthusiastic about the agreement Stanford Press entered into last year with Cambridge University Press. The agreement, he said, "gives us a global marketing and sales reach that we've never before had, and also gives us an avenue for collaborative involvement in physical science publishing."
(Under the collaboration, Cambridge assumes full responsibility for the marketing, sales and distribution of Stanford Press books outside North America. In turn, Stanford Press provides the North American branch of Cambridge with premises for a West Coast editorial office, staffed by Cambridge editors who focus primarily on publishing in the physical sciences.)
Pope received his bachelor's degree, with honors, in humanities from Stanford, and earned a doctorate in modern history from Oxford University.
He joined the Stanford University Press in 1978 as an assistant editor, and over the years has held a number of posts, including senior editor, chief financial officer, assistant director and associate director.
In addition to his work at the Press, Pope has done occasional teaching on Victorian topics for Stanford's English and history departments. His book, Dickens and Charity, was published in North America by Columbia University Press.
Faculty members were enthusiastic about Pope's appointment. Peter Stansky, Frances and Charles Field Professor of History, said that Pope "has continually shown high qualities and I believe that he has been doing an extraordinary job in building up the strengths of the Press."
Hans Gumbrecht, Albert Guerard Professor of Literature, called Pope "a competent and highly committed intellectual," adding that he especially appreciated Pope's decision to continue his editorial work while serving as acting director of the Press.
Pope's directorship, Gumbrecht said, "will continue providing us with an impressive flow of intellectually important and beautifully manufactured books."
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