We are very pleased to announce that Leila Salisbury has been named our new press director, becoming only the fourth in the press’s sixty-eight year history. Salisbury is the current director of the University Press of Mississippi (UPM), a position she has held since 2008. She will take over leadership of UPK on August 1.
While at UPM, Salisbury was responsible for strategic planning and the management of a $2.7 million scholarly publishing operation and a $3.8 million endowment. She also has been very involved with the Association of American University Presses (AAUP), an organization of nonprofit publishers whose members strive to advance scholarship through their publications. Currently a member of the association’s national board of directors, she has previously chaired and participated in a number of panels and workshops at both national and regional levels and served as the chair of the AAUP marketing committee.
This hire represents a homecoming for Salisbury. She grew up in Lexington and began her career in publishing as a student assistant at UPK when she was an undergraduate. She began working for the press full time in 1994, as the assistant to the director. After receiving an M.A. in English from the University of Kentucky in 1997, Salisbury moved to the marketing department, eventually becoming the department director as well as an acquisitions editor before leaving for UPM in 2008. “This is an exciting time to work at the University Press of Kentucky. Leila is an exceptional leader who possesses a rare combination of institutional knowledge and outside expertise,” said Amy Harris, UPK’s director of marketing and sales. “I anticipate that the press will reach new heights under her direction.”
“I look forward to Leila bringing her national academic publishing experience back to Kentucky,” said Terry Birdwhistell, dean of UK Libraries, which oversees UPK. Salisbury brings particular expertise to the position through her work with the Charleston Library Conference, where she has served as a speaker, panelist, and plenary session moderator. “I’m particularly eager to explore partnerships with the UK Libraries,” said Salisbury. “Engaging with exciting new research and fields of study from flagship programs at UK and our other state universities will be an important part of the Press’s work moving forward.”
Salisbury is looking forward to bringing this experience back to UPK. “At the core, my mission is to be a useful connector of people, programs, and institutions,” she said. “Kentucky has a wonderfully rich history and culture, and the possibilities for telling the state’s story and working in concert with cultural institutions and university programs seem endless.”
Welcome home, Leila!