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Larry Howe <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 6 Jun 2012 11:06:36 -0500
text/plain (220 lines)

Good letter. I'll send one of my own echoing your objection to the  
loss of such an important outlet.  I'm not familiar with UMP's entire  
catalog, but the Twain series is excellent and deserves to be sustained.



On Jun 6, 2012, at 10:56 AM, John Bird 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.
> ####
> *