Steve Cohn to Step Down as Director of Duke University Press

Cohn has led the press in various roles since 1993

Steve Cohn Steve Cohn, director of Duke University Press, has announced that he will be stepping down June 30, 2019 to retire after 25 years leading the press, and 37 years overall in the academic publishing industry. 

“Steve has been a dedicated leader and tireless advocate for the press, steadily increasing the number of books and journals it publishes, while enhancing its reputation for quality and intellectual risk-taking,” Provost Sally Kornbluth said. 

Duke University Press holds a leading position in the academic publishing industry through its publication of nearly 140 individual books each year, book series, 59 journals and other publications.

“Steve has successfully navigated many changes in the publishing industry during his more than two decades at the helm of DUP,” said Edward J. Balleisen, vice provost for interdisciplinary studies. “The next director will benefit from his strong leadership and unparalleled financial acumen.”

Provost Sally Kornbluth has appointed a search committee, chaired by Josh Sosin, associate professor of classical studies. Other members will be:

The committee will be assisted in its work by Jack Farrell & Associates.

The committee has been charged with developing a diverse pool of candidates, conducting interviews, and submitting to the provost a list of three finalists from whom Kornbluth will make the final selection.  “I am grateful to the members of the search committee, under Josh Sosin’s leadership, for their service to the university by taking on this important role,” Kornbluth said.

The director of Duke University Press is responsible for leading all activities of the press, including editorial, marketing, production and business functions for both books and journals publishing. Reporting to the provost through the vice provost for interdisciplinary studies, the director also works with the faculty Editorial Advisory Board, and is responsible for navigating a rapidly changing scholarly communications landscape and working to more fully integrate the press with the university’s mission to enhance global scholarship. 

Strong candidates will have a demonstrated understanding of the academic publishing industry, and a proven track record of working cohesively with a variety of faculty and administrators, and communicating effectively with the multiple constituencies that the press works with at Duke.

A complete position description is available at

Applications may be sent to the committee by email to, or to Jack Farrell ( at Jack Farrell & Associates by December 1, 2018. Applications should include a letter of interest, a current CV, and a vision statement for the next phase of Duke University Press. All applications will be held in confidence.

Members of the university community who wish to provide comments about the qualities that will distinguish an excellent next director of Duke University Press should send brief reflections to  Other questions or comments about the search may be directed to the search committee chair, Josh Sosin, or to Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies Edward Balleisen.