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Jocelyn Chadwick <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 6 Jun 2012 13:03:55 -0400
text/plain (161 lines)
John, eloquent  letter; thank you for voicing our concerns.  


Sent from my iPhone

On Jun 6, 2012, at 11:56 AM, John Bird <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Here is the letter I just sent the president of the university:
> Dear President Wolfe:
> I am Professor of English at Winthrop University in South Carolina and the 
> Vice President of the Mark Twain Circle of America, an international 
> organization with several hundred members. While I cannot speak for all 
> members of the Mark Twain Circle, I know I speak for the vast majority when 
> I say that we are very distressed at your recent decision to close the 
> University of Missouri Press, and we hope you will reconsider.
> The press has a number of series, including Mark Twain and His Circle, which 
> is directed by Tom Quirk, Professor of English at University of 
> Missouri-Columbia. The University of Missouri Press has established itself 
> as the leading academic publisher of books on Mark Twain. They published my 
> book, Mark Twain and Metaphor, in 2007. The staff of the press treated me 
> and my book with utmost professionalism throughout the process, from 
> acceptance and editing through layout and production and promotion.  All of 
> the other Twain scholars who have published with the press join me in saying 
> that we are extremely pleased with the quality of the work by all the staff.
> Mark Twain is certainly among the most important and well-known Missourians 
> who ever lived. It is truly right and proper that the best line of scholarly 
> books on Mark Twain emanate from the state of his birth, the state that 
> contributed so much to his greatness as a writer.  If the University of 
> Missouri Press does indeed close, books about him will be published 
> elsewhere. I consider that a crying shame and a huge loss for your 
> university and your state.
> I join with the many voices who respectfully ask you to reconsider your 
> decision. The Mark Twain and His Circle series is only one of many that will 
> suffer if the University of Missouri Press ceases to exist.
> Sincerely,
> John Bird
> Vice President, Mark Twain Circle of America
> Professor of English
> Winthrop University
> Rock Hill, SC 29733
> [log in to unmask]
> -----Original Message----- 
> From: Tracy Wuster
> Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2012 2:34 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Save the University of Missouri Press--Facebook page and Petition
> Hello all,
> I know that many Twain scholars have been following the sad decision to
> close the University of Missouri Press.  Bruce Miller and Ned
> Stuckey-French have passed on the press release below and asked Twain
> scholars to join the FaceBook page and sign the petition in support of the
> press and the "Mark Twain and His Circle" series.
> Facebook page:
> Petition:
> 3
> Please take a minute to express your support for the press and its work on
> Mark Twain.
> Best,
> Tracy Wuster
> Bruce Joshua Miller Ned Stuckey-French
> 773  275-8156 850  553-9549
> [log in to unmask] [log in to unmask]
> <[log in to unmask]>
> <[log in to unmask]>
> Facebook Page Attracts Hundreds; Missourians and Others Up in Arms
> New University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe=92s announcement last Thursd=
> ay
> that he was shutting down the University=92s press has prompted a firestorm
> of opposition.
> The Press, which was founded 54 years ago, has published approximately
> 2,000 titles for both scholars and the general reader, everything from a
> biography of St. Louis Cardinals=92 great Stan Musial to the Collected Work=
> s
> of Langston Hughes. The Press has also published the letters and
> autobiography of favorite son Harry Truman, and now Missourians and others
> have decided to =93give =91em hell.=94
> Authors, teachers, librarians, Missouri alums, and readers from across the
> state of Missouri and the country have voiced their outrage. Within one day
> a =93Save the University of Missouri Press=94 on Facebook had attracted ove=
> r
> 600 followers. Articles about the national reaction to the closing have
> appeared already in Publishers Weekly, Inside Higher Ed, St. Louis Today,
> and the Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune.
> Many of the letters and posts have focused on the disparity between the
> fact that the head football coach at the University of Missouri Gary Pinkel
> receives an annual salary of $2.7 million while the University=92s subsidy
> for the Press=92s staff of ten, which designs, edits and produces 30 titles=
> a
> year, is only $400,000.
> Successful trial lawyer, UM alum and Missouri Press author Thomas Strong
> wrote President Wolfe to say, =93I cannot adequately express how offended I
> am by your decision. Please remove the plaque that bears my name in a room
> of the law school. I will make no further financial gifts to MU.=94
> The American Association of University Presses (AAUP) issued a formal
> announcement: =93The AAUP was shocked by the unexpected announcement by
> University of Missouri system president Timothy Wolfe of the planned
> closure of the University of Missouri Press. =85The shortsighted decision t=
> o
> close an experienced publishing center during a time of expansion in
> scholarly communications rather than to creatively benefit from the
> invaluable resource of a widely respected university press is one we hope
> the University of Missouri will reconsider.=94
> The Press publishes scholarly series and editions devoted to the work of
> Missouri-born authors such as Langston Hughes and Mark Twain, and scholars
> of those authors have been some of the first to write to President Wolfe.
> Southern Methodist University professor and Hughes scholar Darryl
> Dickson-Carr wrote, =93Hughes, as you know, was a native son of Missouri, o=
> ne
> of many stellar writers born, raised, or shaped by the state's great, rich
> history. I needn't tell you of the others, including Mark Twain, who helped
> put Missouri at the heart of this nation's great literary tradition. =85I
> urge you to reconsider because the press has already been an excellent
> steward of the state's resources. It has taken the funds invested and
> turned them into scholarship that documents the history of a great state.
> It has enhanced the university's mission. Without it, all of us will be
> poorer.=94
> National Public Radio commentator, Seattle librarian and author Nancy Pearl
> wrote, =93As a book lover, I am saddened by this decision - especially in
> light of the huge disparity between what the relatively paltry amount that
> University of Missouri Press needs to continue operations in comparison to
> the huge amount of money that goes to support the University's major sports
> teams. Something's screwy in our values, here.=94
> At the time of this release, President Wolfe had not responded to the
> public outcry.
> ####
> *