It’s a pleasure to share this announcement from Douglas Haynes, Vice Provost, Academic Personnel and Programs, and Katherine S. Newman, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of California, about new leadership at UC Press.
I write with exciting news about the leadership team for the University of California Press. Erich van Rijn will serve as the Director of the Press and Kim Robinson will serve as the Deputy Director. They will take on these new roles, effective immediately. These appointments come at the recommendation of UC Press’s Board of Directors and after careful consideration of their stewardship of the Press during a twelve-month interim period and their clearly articulated shared vision for the future of the Press.
The UC Press plays a major role in the University’s preeminence as a public research university and is known nationally and internationally for its progressive and ground-breaking publications. Erich and Kim both bring to UC Press extensive knowledge in and experience with academic publishing and a strong commitment to the University of California Press.
Their leadership and experience will be important to a Press respected for its 124-year history of top-line, prize-winning publishing and innovative publishing platforms. They are committed to building on the Press’s long history of partnering with prominent UC programs and initiatives to enhance the university’s global impact through the Press’s progressive and ground-breaking publishing. They are also committed to continuing to advance the innovative initiatives that the Press has pioneered during the last several years, such as the recently launched FirstGen scholars’ program and an ongoing commitment to sustainable open access publishing for both books and journals. In addition, they have exhibited a dedication to fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by embedding DEIA efforts as a core objective in the Press’s organizational strategic framework.
For the past year, Erich has served as Interim Executive Director and CFO at UC Press. Prior to joining the Press in 1997, Erich held positions at Oxford University Press and HarperCollins Publishers. Erich has been active as a volunteer in industry associations and advocacy initiatives, including the Association of University Presses (AUPresses), where he led an open access publishing task force from 2019 to 2021, which grew into a standing committee of the association. He has served on several advisory boards, including Towards and Open Monograph Ecosystem (TOME), a joint initiative of the Association of American Universities, the Association of Research Libraries, and AUPresses; and the Next Generation Library Publishing project, a joint project of the Educopia Foundation, California Digital Library, and Strategies for Open Science. He holds a master’s degree in English literature from New York University and bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz, where he was a first-generation college graduate.
For the past year, Kim has served as Interim Deputy Director of UC Press and the Interim Executive Director of the UC Press Foundation. Before stepping into the role of the Editorial Director, Kim was Social Sciences Publisher and regional editor at UC Press. Before joining the Press in 2009, she spent eight years at Oxford University Press in New York both as music editor and editorial director of the scholarly reference group. Prior to her career in publishing, she spent a decade working for nonprofit organizations and foundations focused on environmental issues and equal access to information and technology. A product of the UC system and a first-generation college graduate, Kim received a B.A. in English from UC Santa Barbara.