UM Press narrows director search to three finalists

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 | 2:37 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The committee searching for a new director for the University of Missouri Press has narrowed its field of candidates to three, including the current editor in chief, the leader of the University Press of Mississippi and the director from the American Heart Association.

The candidates all will be at MU for interviews and public forums over the next month.

The three finalists are Clair Willcox, current associate director and editor-in-chief of the University of Missouri Press; Leila Salisbury, director of the University Press of Mississippi; and David Rosenbaum, director of product development and project management for the American Heart Association.

Willcox has been editor-in-chief and associate director of the UM Press since 2009. He has been with the press since 1988 and also has served in the roles of acquisitions editor and manuscript editor. From 1986 to 1988, he was the senior editor at the Center for Educational Assessment.

Salisbury has served as director of the University Press of Mississippi since 2008. From 1994 to 2008 she worked at the University Press of Kentucky, holding the positions of marketing director, film editor, publicity manager and assistant to the director.

Rosenbaum has been director of product development and project management at the American Heart Association since March 2010. Before that he was the senior acquisitions editor at Elsevier, a science information company, for a year, and he held the same position at the textbook company Delmar Cengage Learning from 2003 to 2008. He was the senior publisher at Blackwell Publishing Ltd. from 1999 to 2003 and the production manager at Iowa State University Press from 1997 to 1999.

After UM System President Tim Wolfe last year proposed closing the UM Press, faculty members complained they weren't being consulted on major decisions regarding its future. After Wolfe rescinded his decision and control of the press was transferred from the UM System to MU, the UM Press Advisory Committee was formed to help with the transition.

Two members of that committee in June presented five recommendations for improving press operations, according to a previous Missourian report. They suggested the press should expand its content, publish UM titles, provide financial reports to and discuss sustainability with the advisory committee, and lobby faculty for increased support.

The full resume of all three candidates can be found on the University of Missouri Press website.

On-campus interviews of the finalists will begin Monday and continue through Sept. 6. Each of the candidates will participate in an open forum while he or she is here. The committee expects to make a decision shortly after the interviews are concluded.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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