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Ohio University Press names new editor in chief

The Ohio University Press is pleased to announce that Ricky S. Huard has been promoted to editor in chief.

Huard has extensive publishing experience and has worked at Ohio University since 2002. Before stepping into his new role, he held positions as manuscript editor and acquisitions editor at the Ohio University Press. 

Huard earned a J.D. from the Colorado School of Law at the University of Colorado Boulder and a B.A. in linguistics at Yale University. Prior to coming to OHIO, he worked as an associate editor for the Harrison Co., a legal publisher in Athens, Georgia.

“Ricky has stepped up and provided acquisitions leadership during a period of staff transitions and reductions,” said Beth Pratt, director of the Ohio University Press, a member of the Association of University Presses. “He is already a proven leader, and I am delighted to make official the good work he has been doing for several years.”

Huard asserts that book publishing involves dual processes.

“It’s a craftsman like occupation in that you make a thing that you can hold in your hand, yet the substance of that thing comes from the invisible thought of the author and the skill of the editors and designers,” Huard said. "The trick is that while making the first part visible, the second part should remain invisible.” 

“The publisher’s added value is in what you don’t see,” Huard continues. “You don’t see misspelled words. You don’t see bad line breaks. You don’t see blind references in a book’s index. If you notice that you’re reading, something is wrong. In scholarly publishing, you’re making a tool, and a good tool does its job without your thinking about it. It’s not making a text capable of clear reading, but rather rendering a text incapable of being misread.”

To achieve this result, Huard is willing to push authors beyond their comfort zones:

"I can give you the book you want, or I can give you the best book it can be," he said.

The Ohio University Press was incorporated in 1947, formally organized by Ohio University President Vernon Alden in 1964, and has since established itself as a leading publisher of books about Africa, Appalachia, the Midwest, and many other topics. Its books are regularly covered by prominent national and international news and review media, and frequently appear in academic and literary journals. In recent years, the Ohio University Press has partnered with the State Library of Ohio, the US Capitol Historical Society, the Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland museums of art, Old Cove Press, and Ohio University’s Baker Peace Conference, Center for International Studies, Contemporary History Institute, and Central Region Humanities Center.

The Association of University Presses advances the essential role of a global community of publishers whose mission is to ensure academic excellence and cultivate knowledge. 

September 28, 2022
Staff reports