Bruce Austin named director of RIT Press publishing enterprise

Former communication department chair is widely experienced in print media

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Bruce Austin

Bruce Austin, professor and former chairman of the Department of Communication in the College of Liberal Arts at Rochester Institute of Technology, has been named director of RIT Press.

Austin is a widely published scholar with long experience in print media. In his new position at RIT Press, Austin will be overseeing RIT’s scholarly publishing enterprise that is dedicated to the innovative use of new publishing technology. The Press offers specialized titles for niche academic audiences, trade editions for mass-market audiences, occasional limited editions with unique aesthetic standards, and gift items.

“With the selection of Bruce as the RIT Press Director, the Press has found the dynamic and creative leader with a commitment to scholarship that is needed to move the Press into the future and enhance scholarship at RIT,” says Jeremy Haefner, RIT provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

Austin began his tenure at RIT as an instructor in the College of Liberal Arts and later served as chair of the Department of Communication for 15 years, during which time program and degree offerings were expanded and student enrollment more than doubled. He held the endowed William A. Kern Professorship in Communications for six years.

Austin says he is pleased and honored to join the experienced, professional staff at RIT Press.

“The world of scholarly book publishing is at the best, most interesting and exciting point of its evolving life since the mid-1400s when Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type,” says Austin. “Then, as now, emerging technologies will shape the industry while publishers, such as RIT Press, invent ways to adopt and adapt technology in order to deliver valued, vetted content across media platforms.”

In 2012, Austin curated the internationally acclaimed exhibition, Frans Wildenhain 1950-75: Creative and Commercial American Ceramics at Mid-Century, at RIT. This highly complex, collaborative effort included the publication of an accompanying 256-page hard cover exhibition catalog, which has been described as “exhaustively researched and stunningly presented” by the Art Libraries Society.