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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: New campus press can't replace UM Press

Monday, July 30, 2012 | 5:16 p.m. CDT; updated 12:38 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, August 28, 2012

MU is engaged in deep denial. The supposedly recalibrated Columbia campus press isn’t a University Press. It does not replace the University of Missouri Press, whose professional staff has been terminated.

The University of Missouri Press wasn’t broken. To the contrary, it gained stature over the years as a major university press. Having chaired the four-campus oversight committee, I can attest to the professionalism and significant reputation of the University of Missouri Press.

The proposed reorganization will be a pale, minor league imitation. Instead of including all four UM campuses, it will be only on the Columbia campus. Teaching rather than publishing is described as the major priority. Scholars seeking a major press will not submit their manuscripts. Present assets of authors and book stocks will rapidly disappear. Students may learn theories of how to evaluate and edit manuscripts. However, they will lack the practical experience of working in a real press.

It isn’t too late. University Hall should reconsider abandoning one of the hallmarks of a major university — a significant university press.

Paul Wallace is a professor emeritus of political science at MU. Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.


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Comments

Ellis Smith July 30, 2012 | 6:16 p.m.

Well of course the "new press" won't include UMKC, UMSL and MS&T, and there seems to be no indication that anyone representing those three campuses was consulted before the decision was made to do away with the University press.

Is this really a "System" or isn't it? As I've previously posted, there seem to be TWO problems, the press itself and how decisions are being made. The latter could be at least as serious as the former.

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