Office of the Provost


February 22, 2012

Dear Colleagues:

Cynthia Miller has served as an exceptional director of the University of Pittsburgh Press since 1995, and so it is with appreciation for her loyalty and service that I have accepted her wish to retire in February of 2013. Under her leadership, the Press has grown and thrived, with over 850 titles published during her tenure as director.

Since Cynthia joined as director, the University of Pittsburgh Press has sustained eight longstanding series and founded six more, including world-renowned series in English composition, Latin American studies, creative writing, and the philosophy of science. Its books have won 88 awards from fifteen academic societies and library and publishing associations and eleven major design awards. Two Pitt Poetry Series poets, Billy Collins and Ted Kooser, have been selected as United States Poets Laureate during Cynthia’s time as director, and a third, the University’s own Toi Derricotte, has been elected Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Many of us at the University have benefitted from the important technological developments that Cynthia has stewarded at the Press, including the establishment of an e-books program and the introduction of the Espresso Book Machine in the Pitt Book Center for print-on-demand titles, one of the first of its kind among university presses. In 2007, the Press launched the University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Editions in collaboration with our University Library System. This database of electronic scholarship now includes over 750 open-access and fully searchable titles, facilitating the research and knowledge of both our University and the broader academic community.

This past year, the Press celebrated its 75th anniversary, and Cynthia compiled and edited The Pittsburgh Reader: Seventy-five Years of Books about Pittsburgh to commemorate this momentous occasion. The book, which contains selections from books published throughout the Press’s history, has since distributed nearly 2,500 copies, and serves as a landmark text both within and outside of the University to illustrate the progress of one of America’s most well-regarded university presses.

Cynthia’s recognitions and past experience speak to her outstanding contributions to publishing, both here at the University and within the larger publishing community. Before joining the Press as director, she served as editor-in-chief of the University Press of Kansas. She has also held leadership positions in publishing at the Brookings Institution, the Catholic University of America Press, and Wesleyan University Press. Her many achievements have been honored with a prestigious Women’s National Book Association award recognizing top women in publishing, library science, literacy, and bookselling.

As an active member of the Council of Deans and as a past member of the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Concerns, Cynthia has helped to shape not just the growth of the Press, but also the development of the University more broadly over the past seventeen years. She is also a longtime member of the University’s Scholarly Publications Committee and Electronic Dissertation and Thesis Committee.

As Cynthia continues her work as director through the remainder of this calendar year, I know you all will join me as we celebrate her seventeen outstanding years of service to the University of Pittsburgh Press, and we thank her for her ongoing dedication to the University of Pittsburgh.



Patricia E. Beeson

about the photo