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ACUP Comes to Minneapolis

"The Land of 10,000 Lakes" lured 80 higher-ed in-plant managers last month for four days of networking and education at the 48th annual Association of College and University Printers conference.

June 2013 By Bob Neubauer
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For the first time in its 49-year history, the Association of College and University Printers (ACUP) ventured into Minnesota last month, bringing 80 higher-ed in-plant managers together for four days of networking and education.

Cloudy skies and daily showers didn't sour the mood of managers one bit, as they engaged in enthusiastic conversations about their in-plants. With attendees from 59 institutions in 25 states, plus Scotland, England and Australia, a medley of diverse accents filled the air throughout the event, which took place in downtown Minneapolis. From the Sunday night opening reception, to Monday's boat cruise on the Mississippi, to the awards dinner on the last night, managers found ample time to talk and compare notes. In addition, roundtable discussions on topics like Web-to-print, mail and digital bindery solutions gave attendees plenty of time to share their experiences and solve one another's problems.

Appropriately titled "Fishing for a Big Idea," this year's ACUP boasted an impressive 30 first-time attendees, from schools such as Bethel University, California Lutheran University, Franklin University and Macalester College. They joined ACUP "regulars" like Iowa State University, Bucknell University, University of Nebraska, M.I.T. and many others.

Organized by ACUP's planning committee, the conference was co-hosted by Naomi Quiram, director of Print and Mail Services at Gustavus Adolphus College, and long-time ACUP member Doug Fenske, director of Printing & Photocopy Services at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Fenske got to show off his 11-employee operation to attendees on the third day of ACUP. Located 80 miles southwest of Minneapolis, the in-plant features an impressive array of equipment, including a four-color Heidelberg press, a Xerox DocuColor 770, a Canon IPF 8300 wide-format printer, a C.P. Bourg booklet maker with two 10-bin towers, and numerous other pieces of equipment. During the tour, Fenske manned the shop's Heidelberg letterpress as it produced a foil-stamped, die-cut promotional piece.

If Printers Ruled the World

ACUP 2013 got off to a great start when Tom de Ranitz, founder of Forte Consulting, took to the podium with his keynote, provocatively titled "If Printers Ruled the World." His point was that graphic arts professionals plan projects thoroughly, from beginning to end, before jumping into them. Printers are familiar with deadlines, limited resources and changing technologies, and organizational leaders can learn a lot from them. He encouraged attendees to make sure, at the very beginning of a project, that everyone who needs to be in the room is present.

 

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