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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"Bonehead," "Cowardly," "Treachery": Supporters Fight to Save the University of Missouri Press

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Don't break out the pity-party violin for University of Missouri Press just yet.
  • Don't break out the pity-party violin for University of Missouri Press just yet.
Well, that didn't take long. Alerted to the planned demise of the University of Missouri Press, supporters are attempting to rally an organized resistance on Facebook. Save the University of Missouri Press has already garnered more than 400 supporters -- or at the very least, "likes," -- as well as much-needed publicity from Publishers Weekly and a letter-writing campaign.

It may just be writing that saves the press, especially if more letter writers take the same principled stance as alumnus Thomas Strong does in his letter.

Strong's broadside at University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe opens with pointed questions about Mizzou's commitment to academics, turns to accusations of cowardice and then finishes with the death blow: a vow to never donate to the school again. It is a marvel of economy and disdain, and is well worth reading.
Mr. Tim Wolfe, President
Office of the President
321 University Hall
Columbia, MO 65201
Re: University of Missouri Press

Dear President Wolfe:

As an alumnus of the University of Missouri, I am disappointed and angry to learn that you have decided to close the University of Missouri Press. Where are your priorities? What has happened to the school's standing as the state's flagship university? What has happened to its emphases on journalism? Is the institution to be known more and more only for its athletic programs? How can Truman State, a small school with a small budget, afford a press, while the University of Missouri, a large school with a huge budget, cannot? Will Truman State become known as Missouri's university most interested in academics?

Of all the bonehead decisions made by my alma mater, this one takes the cake. Even the cowardly way you made the announcement, just before a major holiday when it would draw the least attention, reveals that you are not proud of your treachery. I know you may find this letter offensive, but it would be disingenuous of me to write a more politically correct message. I 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.

Have a nice day.
Yours very truly,

Thomas Strong
That's how you fight the man, my friends: with an iron spine, a poison pen and economic sanctions.

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