Simon Fraser University’s publishing program, though deeply respected among Canadian publishers, is still something of a secret. The school, situated outside Vancouver, offers a master’s in publishing, a minor in print and digital publishing, a teaching press, and a vigorous research program. Several of Canada’s most recognized publishing leaders have also been affiliated with the program, including Kristin Cochrane, CEO of PRH Canada, and Kevin Hanson, SS president and publisher.
One distinguishing feature of publishing at SFU is the hands-on nature of the classes. These cover everything from having students build online publishing platforms to best practices and protocols for publishers working with indigenous-related texts. New curricula and new paths of learning are always being considered, and the program is currently working with Theytus Books, the oldest indigenous-owned-and-operated publisher in Canada; First Nations University; and the University of Regina Press to launch a certificate in indigenous publishing. There are also several areas of research.
Program director John Maxwell is working with MIT Press on a project to conduct a landscape analysis of open-source software development in scholarly and academic publishing, and Juan Alperin works closely with scholarly publishing through the Public Knowledge Project at SFU.
Over our long history, a mutual respect and trust between the industry and SFU has opened many doors for many people. The industry trusts SFU to produce top-tier professionals who can walk into any number of positions and hit the ground running with a solutions-based focus that is underpinned by an intellectually robust, yet professionally practical graduate degree taught by the top minds in publishing and publishing studies.
Suzanne Norman is the director of the SFU Publishing Workshops at Simon Fraser University.