Thursday, June 12, 2008

Seetha Srinivasan Announces Retirement

Seetha Srinivasan, Director of the University Press of Mississippi, has announced her retirement as of June 30, 2008. She will end a 29-year career at UPM, with 10 of those years as director of the Press.

Among her reasons for retiring, Srinivasan said, “I want to walk away at a time when I still have the highest degree of enthusiasm for what I do. I also wanted to retire while I was still able to pursue interests for which my job at the Press leaves limited time.”

When Seetha Srinivasan came to UPM in 1979 as an editorial and promotion assistant, the Jackson-based publisher was 10 years old and slowly beginning to distinguish itself nationally. Almost three decades later, Srinivasan’s editorial vision and leadership have driven UPM to the forefront of the university press publishing world.

As an acquisitions editor Srinivasan elevated the Press to a level of international recognition. Included among the works she developed for publication are Photographs by Eudora Welty, three titles by noted historian Stephen Ambrose, a retrospective of the work of William Dunlap, and most recently a collection of nonfiction by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison.

Srinivasan’s drive and dedication have allowed her to make contributions in the national publishing world as well. In 2002 Srinivasan was awarded the Association of American University Presses Constituency Award for Outstanding Service to the University Press Community. She has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the AAUP. And from 2003 Srinivasan served as president of the AAUP. During her term as president she traveled to Berlin to address the Congress of International Publishers Association on “The Future of the Academic Book.”

Looking back on her fruitful career, Srinivasan remarked, “My fondest recollections will all surround the press’s growth in size and stature during the time in which I have been associated with it and my role in its development. Our strong editorial program, our many grateful and happy authors, the respect of sister presses and of the larger publishing world, the appreciation of leaders in our various constituencies—these are just a few of the things that will stay with me.”

Looking forward to her retirement, Srinivasan has plans to pursue several interests. Although she does not necessarily want to “fill” her non-workings days, Srinivasan will be spending guilt-free time performing community-based volunteer work, traveling, reading for pleasure, and playing with her grandchildren.

Srinivasan lives in Jackson with her husband Asoka. Their family includes Arjun and Gautam, daughters-in-law L­­indy and Alison, and three grandchildren. Srinivasan is currently a member of the steering committee for the Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson. She has served as a member, and president, of the Millsaps College Arts and Lecture Series board.

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