Dean Smith, director of the Cornell University Press, has been named director of the Duke University Press effective July 1. Smith succeeds Steve Cohn, who is retiring after serving as director of the press since 1993. Duke University Press publishes about 140 books a year and about 60 journals.
Smith, author, poet, and director of the Cornell University Press since 2015, has worked in publishing for 30 years. Since he became director of CUP, the press has grown its publishing list from 100 to 150 titles a year. The academic house has a digital backlist of more than 3,000 e-books and has published 150 open access texts.
Over the course of his career in book and journal publishing Smith has worked in acquisitions, platform development, sales and marketing in addition to being press director. He is credited with leading CUP’s transition from print publications to a web-based digital platform.
And in a reference to Duke University’s vaunted reputation in college basketball, DUP also noted that Smith is, “no relation to the late legendary University of North Carolina basketball coach of the same name.” The release noted that Smith is a former sportswriter and author of Never Easy, Never Pretty: A Fan, A City, A Championship Season, published in 2013 by Temple University Press.
Duke provost Sally Kornbluth thanked Cohn for his service to the press and welcomed Smith. “Steve has built the press into a national powerhouse,” she said. And she praised the hiring of Smith: “with his business acumen, deep knowledge of the publishing world, interest in new technologies and wide-ranging intellectual interests, Dean will be a wonderful new leader for the press.”