Growing outrage over closure of U. Missouri Press (2 items)

From Publishers Weekly and Inside Higher Ed:
Outrage Grows to University of Missouri Shutting Down Press
By Claire Kirch

Bruce Joshua Miller, a commission publisher’s rep in Chicago and Ned Stuckey-French, an English literature professor at Florida State University, are leading the charge in drumming up public opposition to the University of Missouri’s announcement Thursday that it will no longer subsidize the University of Missouri Press with a $400,000 annual allocation. The two have already written letters to major Missouri newspapers denouncing the university’s decision to shut down the press, and are also sending e-mails to their professional contacts, requesting that they too write letters to the university of Missouri’s president, Tim Wolfe. Miller launched over the weekend a Facebook page, “Save the University of Missouri Press,” which, as of this writing has more than 200 “likes;” the two are strategizing on further actions.

Miller, a principal in Miller Trade Book Marketing, reps for the University of Missouri Press, and Stuckey-French’s book, The American Essay in the American Century, was published by the University of Missouri Press in 2011.

“It’s not financial; I don’t make a lot of money from them,” Miller explained, “This decision flies in the face of everything that I value. It’s a slap in the face to anyone who values history or literature or books.”

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Opposition to Closure of U. of Missouri Press
May 29, 2012 – 3:00am

When the University of Missouri System announced on Thursday that it was shutting down the University of Missouri Press, initial response was muted. Employees of the press did not return calls, and the university said that it could not identify the faculty advisory committee for the press. The university said that it couldn’t continue to subsidize the press, which currently receives about $400,000 annually.

Over the holiday weekend, however, opposition started to materialize. A Facebook page — Save the University of Missouri Press — appeared Monday. One post there: “As an alumnus of the University of Missouri, I am disappointed and angry to learn that you have decided to close the University of Missouri Press. Where are your priorities? What has happened to the school’s standing as the state’s flagship university? Is the institution to be known more and more only for its athletic programs? Will Truman State become known as Missouri’s university most interested in academics?” (Truman State has a university press.)

Letters to the editor are also appearing in local publications, questioning why a $400,000 subsidy would be out of the question at a university that pays its head football coach $2.7 million.

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