One of the many unexpected pleasures I encountered on becoming Vice-Chancellor was the discovery that I serve as Chair of the Delegates of Oxford University Press. Few meetings at Oxford are quite as enjoyable. The Press, like the University, is a large and complex organization about which I am still learning. I am, nevertheless, delighted to contribute a foreword to the Annual Report.
Foreword by the Vice-Chancellor
OUP is a wonderful expression of the University in the wider world; the qualities of uncompromising standards, freedom of expression, and the enrichment of lives through education are at the core of its mission. This came as no surprise, but the scale and the reach of OUP took my breath away. An indication of this scale is the fact that in the last year the Press produced many thousands of new copyrights across 97 languages, 34 more languages than the previous year. The Press has a presence in 52 countries and every year more than 33 million students use OUP’s ELT materials to learn English.
The Oxford English Dictionary has long been synonymous with Oxford but the sheer number of dictionaries which the Press produces is staggering―more than 150 globally, from the Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary iWatch app. Every 30 seconds an Oxford children’s dictionary is sold somewhere in the world. The Press’s dictionaries are central to its output and they are developing in ever more innovative ways, informing language use in the 21st century.
Overall, the Press faces many of the same challenges as the
rest of the University: how to adapt to globalization, focus on the long-term future, and identify opportunities in an era of great technological change. I will do my best to help OUP ﬁnd meaningful ways to collaborate across the departmental and divisional boundaries of the University, for the beneﬁt of all.
I very much look forward to visiting some of the international oﬃces, and seeing the value of the Press’s work ﬁrst-hand. I also hope to ﬁnd the time to read some of the extraordinary books considered by the Delegates and published by OUP.