Missouri Rewrites Plot, Rehiring Editor in Chief of the University Press

Ann McClure's picture

Administrators at the University of Missouri completed a reversal of their decision to close the university’s publishing house when they announced on Friday that the longtime editor in chief, Clair Willcox, would be rehired.

Mr. Willcox’s return stoked glee among the hundreds of University of Missouri Press supporters, including dozens of authors who had condemned the university system’s new president, Timothy M. Wolfe, when he announced in May that he would be closing the publishing house. Founded in 1958, it has spawned titles including “‘The Collected Works of Langston Hughes,” “‘The Complete Sermons of Ralph Waldo Emerson” and “‘Mark Twain and His Circle.”

The move also could save the core of the operation — 41 authors who had works published by the university press asked for the rights to their works back unless Mr. Willcox was rehired.

“Victory Is Ours!” declared a post on a Facebook page, Save the University of Missouri Press, created by Ned Stuckey-French, a professor at Florida State University and an author with the press, and Bruce Joshua Miller, a sales representative for university publishers.

Read more