Vanderbilt University: Traditional, with Additional

The management team at Vanderbilt University Printing Services poses with skids of book signatures churned out by the offset presses in their busy in-plant. From the left:  Production Manager Brian Waack, Director Tom Fox, and Assistant Director Sean Carroll.

Standing with the Xerox 700 in the in-plant’s digital print center are (from left) Mark Nash, Diane Whitehouse and Assistant Director Sean Carroll.

Vanderbilt Printing Director Tom Fox

Gary Harris runs a Vanderbilt football schedule poster on the six-color Heidelberg press.

Marc Raymer stands in front of the Canon imageRUNNER Advance iRC-5035 self-service printer in the campus copy center.

Roger Sauls, Lisa Benner and Sam Daugherty evaluate a poster printed on the in-plant’s Epson Stylus Pro 9880 wide-format printer.

Larry Drake prints envelopes on the shop’s two-color Heidelberg press.

Randy Corbin runs an eight-page signature for an undergraduate admissions piece on the Stahl B-24 folder.

Offset printing is king at Vanderbilt University Printing Services, but digital adds a crowning touch.

“It’s running 24 hours a day, five days a week, which makes it cost effective and allows us to turn jobs around quickly,” Fox states.

Fox considers offset production well-suited to the university. “Vanderbilt casts a wide net to attract the top prospective students from a global talent pool, and our alumni base continues to grow,” he says. “Our high-volume printing capacity has become integral to both the university’s recruiting and fundraising efforts.”

“Many universities have the same approach,” chimes in Waack, who oversees offset production. “I have a [daughter who is a] high-school senior, and she is getting all kinds of recruiting materials similar to what we print here. I feel the products we produce compare quite favorably with other institutions.”

Just last month, the shop put the finishing touches on a packet for newly admitted students. The packet’s multiple components had been printed over the course of a year.

Offset capabilities enable high-end output at economies of scale. “When we print a large publication, they can be up to 48 pages and we may print as many as 100,000 of them,” says Fox.

The ability to turn around high volumes quickly is further enhanced by the in-plant’s capacious storage and fast fulfillment system.

“We have one publication for the athletic office that, if they gave it to us [on Monday], we could print it tomorrow and mail it on Wednesday,” Fox relates. Conversely, the shop can also print six month’s or even a year’s worth of volume at one time to keep costs down and then mail periodically. Mailing and fulfillment serve both offset and digital operations.

Digital Demand

Demand for digital work has grown significantly in the last several years, ever since the shop began printing forms for the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

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