AUC Press Faculty Review Board Launched

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“‘The true university of these days is a collection of books.’ This quote from the work of [historian and writer] Thomas Carlyle expresses the way I view my membership of the AUC Press Faculty Review Board,” said Hania Sholkamy ’85, ’89, associate professor at the Social Research Center. “Being on the board helps builds the University.”

AUC Press recently established a Faculty Review Board to examine new projects and external peer reviews, ensuring that the highest standards of quality and rigorous critique are reflected in forthcoming books carrying the AUC imprimatur to readers around the world.

“Members of the board serve as AUC Press ambassadors to the broader AUC community and within their scholarly disciplines and professional networks ­­­­–– bringing new ideas and publications to AUC Press and promoting better awareness of its strengths and initiatives,” said Michael Duckworth, AUC Press director. Meet all current members of the AUC Press Faculty Review Board.

The fundamental purpose of the board is to cultivate scholarly excellence by advising AUC Press on the merit of individual scholarly and general book projects in light of confidential external peer reviews. “A review board plays a crucial role in a press, as it is the starting point in providing a fair and transparent process in which books can be judged in terms of quality and intellectual worth, and whose publication will reflect well on AUC Press and the University,” said Salima Ikram (YAB ’86), distinguished University professor of Egyptology.

Board members will help shape the editorial strengths and future direction of the overall publishing program and advocate for AUC Press to the University and throughout the global academic community. “AUC Press has an established reputation as a publisher of quality books and manuscripts on all aspects of Middle East studies. It receives many book proposals and drafts every year, and the Faculty Review Board plays an important role in identifying the best for eventual publication in terms of contribution to knowledge and our understanding of the Middle East,” said Syed Maswood, professor of political science. “The Faculty Review Board pinpoints an expert panel of reviewers to report on each proposal that then becomes the basis for a final publishing decision. In doing so, we hope to bring the best research and findings available to a wider audience in the region and beyond.”

James Ketterer, dean of the School of Continuing Education, is the first chair of the board.

“It is an honor to serve as chair of the AUC Press Faculty Review Board and to work with such impressive and inspiring colleagues,” said Ketterer. “AUC Press plays a central role in the University’s mission to disseminate knowledge, and the Faculty Review Board is there to ensure that members of the AUC community have a substantive advisory voice in the intellectual output of AUC Press and to offer guidance as it looks to the future and aligns with the University’s strategic direction.”

The board will meet approximately six times during the academic year to review new project proposals, with the first meeting planned toward the end of June. “The relaunch of the AUC Press Faculty Review Board is an opportunity to align the University’s academic aspirations with the AUC Press strategy for growth and positioning in a highly vibrant and dynamic era,” said Alaa-Eldin Adris, associate provost for research, innovation and creativity, adding that he is excited to communicate to the new AUC Press management “the pulse of our faculty body in innovation and creativity and a sense of the current quantum changes in the perception of academic intellectual output. I believe this is bound to enhance the ability of AUC Press to cope with the undergoing transformations.” 

AUC Press is the leading English-language publisher in the Middle East. At present, it publishes roughly 30 new titles each year, with particular strengths in Egyptology, Arabic language learning, Middle East studies, architecture and the arts, and Arabic fiction in translation.

“AUC Press has long been recognized for its vast benefit to researchers, teachers, students, librarians, and the rest of the University community, as well as society and the broad audience of readers worldwide,” said Iman Soliman, chair of the Department of Arabic Language Instruction.

Soliman described service on the board as a privilege and “huge responsibility, especially as AUC Press undertakes steady steps into the challenge of digital transformation of publications to align how faculty perceive digital scholarship and pedagogy as the way forward to the future of meaningful academic engagement and dissemination of their work.”

In the upcoming months, more AUC faculty members may be invited to join the board to increase the array of relevant disciplinary expertise and better align with AUC’s strategic priorities.

Learn more about the AUC Press Faculty Review Board.