Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Plight Of A Small Press

The University of Missouri Press has been operating for more than 50 years. Known for scholarly works and publishing the collected works of poet, Langston Hughes, they are suddenly being wiped off the university map.

It appears, from several articles I've read, that the new university president, decided to drop the Press as the university was subsidizing it to the tune of $400,000. The Press did not make a profit, but it had a good reputation in the small press world. President Wolfe has no background in academia. He came from the software industry to head the four campus system.

The greatest shock to the ten employees, who will all be unemployed, was that they had no warning. No one had come to discuss the situation with them or to gather information to make the decision. There is an excellent article in The Nation that gives more detail. You can read it here.

The article has a link to a site that allows you to sign a petition asking President Wolfe to save the press. It also compares the athletic budget to the paltry sum the Press requires--paltry on a comparative basis.

As many of you know, I am a big college sports fan and my team is Kansas State. Missouri has been in our conference for many years (but is leaving to be part of the SEC). K-State fans love to beat Missouri in football and basketball. The rivalry is not as great as it is versus KU, but it's there. Even so, seeing the University of Missouri Press close hurts me because I also support the Arts in a big way.

Our publishing industry has seen many changes. This is only one of them. If you would like to see this acclaimed university press continue, sign the petition

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