Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Yale Publishing Course, July 18-23: A Smashing Success

 It is difficult to realize, even for those of us who were involved, that the Yale Publishing Course would be regarded by most of those who attended as a smashing success. The challenge was to create a meaningful course, a quality “student” body and a strong faculty in only four months. And this is what happened.

The Inaugural Class and the Resident Faculty
taken on the steps of the Greenberg Conference Center
July 18, 2010

On the afternoon of July 18, 2010, the 86 seat capacity in the Greenberg auditorium on the Yale campus was filled with “students”—enterprising leaders in book, magazine and digital publishing. They came from 16 foreign countries and from 18 different states in the U.S. During the next week, the “students” met with the 40 members of a faculty comprised of industry leaders, experts, legendary publishers as well distinguished members of the Yale faculty. The intensive course started at breakfast and continued through the evening hours with frequent breaks allowing for networking. It was major download of crucial publishing information.

The goal of the course was to mark where the industry was, where it was going, and to have the faculty and “students” share their insights and experience about the ongoing reconfiguration of book and magazine publishing. At the end of the week, the post mortems indicated that students felt they were now better prepared to deal with the challenges that they faced.

It was also gratifying that the “students” who came to the course as strangers went home as colleagues. The applause for each other at the closing ceremony, where the certificates from Yale were awarded, demonstrated that in a week these students had developed a kinship with each other.

I am a very tough critic, and ever more when I am involved. However, the Yale Publishing course in its inaugural year made a significant contribution to the future of publishing. It set a very high standard for the years to come.

Martin Levin



Credit is due to Tina Weiner, the Director, who led the effort brilliantly along with her Assistant, Jackie. Don Filer the Director 0f International Affairs at Yale and Tina’s boss, a strong supporter and Linda Koch Lorimar, Secretary of the University, who gave this course a final blessing and its life. The course that Stanford University closed down permanently on January 5, 2010 would never have been if it were not for their work and support.

Credit is also due to the veterans of the Stanford Professional Publishing course: Robert Baensch who devoted his every free minute to the Yale course, Richard Stolley an icon in magazine publishing, Dorothy Kalins, Kevin McKean, Mary K. Baumann, Will Hopkins, Keith Clinkscales, Peter Kreisky and the scores of faculty and students who were there when support was needed. It was a long journey that began on August 5, 2009 when we first were told the SPPC was terminated. Special thanks to Paul Saffo, the leading expert in the future of technology and publishing. He is the longest serving member of the SPPC faculty. He came from his teaching post at Stanford to give the opening session.


Additional information about the notices from Stanford about the termination of the course can be found on this blog. For a complete description of the 2010 Yale Course go to Google for Yale Publishing Course.



  1. It was such a great honor to be a part of this. Thank you so much everybody who helped make it happen.

    Sandra Sepulveda

  2. I second that, Sandra! Thanks to all for their passionate contributions...
    Melinda Shaw

  3. Absolutely all of the above!
    -Kevin Di Camillo.

  4. Attending the Stanford Professional Publishing Course in 1996 remains a career highlight for me. I trust this inaugural class of the Yale Publishing Course will treasure this experience for years to come as well.