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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2015 / 09 

Peter Potter joins University Libraries as director of publishing strategy

September 18, 2015

Peter Potter
Peter Potter

Peter Potter, editor-in-chief of the Cornell University Press, has been named director of publishing strategy for University Libraries at Virginia Tech.

In his new position, Potter will track and assess current publishing practices and challenges of Virginia Tech faculty. He will work with faculty to evaluate their needs, and use this information to expand current publishing initiatives and develop future university publishing services based in University Libraries. 

He will begin his work at Virginia Tech on Jan. 11, 2016.

“We are excited to welcome Peter to Virginia Tech,” said Tyler Walters, dean of University Libraries. “He comes to us with a very rich background in university press publishing and a wealth of experience with digital publishing technologies that will be helpful as we develop new services to support the university and disseminate research."

"As a leading research university, it is essential that we make our student and faculty research more easily accessible online to scholars and students across the world," said Thanassis Rikakis, executive vice president and provost at Virginia Tech. "As a global leader in digital scholarly publishing, Peter will be a tremendous asset to our institution as we build new and stronger collaborations with students and faculty at other universities." 

“I am honored to join Dean Walters’ team in the University Libraries,” said Potter. “Over the years Virginia Tech has been an innovator in the practical implementation of digital technology into higher education. As I look to the future, I’m convinced that University Libraries at Virginia Tech are ideally positioned to lead the way in exploiting technology’s potential to transform scholarly communication. I’m eager to see what we can do together to stretch the limits of university-based publishing.”

Potter has been editor-in-chief of the Cornell University Press since 2006, and served as co-interim director from 2013 to 2015. Before coming to Cornell, Potter worked at The Pennsylvania State University Press as editor-in-chief and associate director, and held editor and acting director positions at the Wesleyan University Press in Middletown, Conn.

Throughout his nearly 30 years in university press publishing, Potter has been a leader in efforts to integrate new technologies into scholarly publishing practices, specifically working to leverage the complementary strengths of a university press and a university library to elevate faculty research. 

At Penn State, he helped launch the Office of Digital Scholarly Publishing, one of the first centers to be jointly sponsored by a university library and a university press. He has been an active member of the Association of American University Presses, serving on the Library Relations Committee from 2012 to 2015, and is a frequent speaker at universities and conferences regarding the future of scholarly publishing.

Potter received his bachelor's degree in history from Virginia Tech and his master's degree in history from the University of Virginia. He also attended the Howard University Press Book Publishing Institute in Washington, D.C.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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