July 13-26, 2001
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Penny Kaiserlian Kaiserlian named new press director

By Charlotte Crystal

The University Press of Virginia has named Penelope “Penny” J. Kaiserlian, associate director and editorial director of the University of Chicago Press, as its new head. Her appointment takes effect in mid-August. She succeeds Nancy Essig, who retired in April after 12 years at the helm.

Kaiserlian, the No. 2 executive at the Chicago press, brings a wealth of management experience and editorial judgment to Charlottesville from the nation’s top academic publisher, which has annual book publishing income of more than $20 million.

“We went into the search hoping to find someone with the experience, the smarts and the leadership ability to ensure the University Press of Virginia a place in the first rank of American university presses,” said Raymond J. Nelson, U.Va. Kenan Professor of English and chair of the search committee. “Penny has all those abilities.”

At Chicago, Kaiserlian set policy, mapped strategy, projected sales and developed budgets. She also negotiated book deals, assisted with public relations and managed a staff of 38 and a budget of $3 million. She developed major revision projects as well, such as the fifth and sixth editions of Kate Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations and the 14th and 15th (forthcoming) editions of The Chicago Manual of Style. The 14th edition has been the most successful, selling twice as many copies as the previous edition.

“Few university presses are in as solid financial shape as Virginia, which is a testament to Nancy Essig’s leadership and the creative work of the staff,” said Kaiserlian, who holds a bachelor’s degree in honors English from Exeter University in England. “I look forward to moving from a great private university to a great public university and leading the University Press of Virginia through its next stage of growth.”


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