The University of Missouri has rehired the ousted editor of the academic press it decided not to close. Clair Willcox is back in as editor-in-chief of the University of Missouri Press.
Some of his main duties will include managing the editorial department, serving as the acquisitions editor, and promoting the overall goals of the press.
Ned Stuckey-French helped lead the “Coalition to save the University of Missouri Press.” French says the press has a long road ahead it and Willcox is the only one who can lead it going forward.
“When they had not rehired him – that was sending a very mixed message," French says. "Now that they’ve rehired him, he has contacts, he knows all these authors that have published with the press before, and are continuing to write books.”
French published with the press, and says it’s one of the best university presses in the nation.
“I mean I don’t want to put down the football team, but the football team is known in the Southeastern Conference," French says. "The press is known all across the world. Not in the massive numbers maybe that come to the stadium on Saturdays, but the press is the face of the university in the academic community worldwide.”
The school decided in late August to keep the press intact but under control by the Columbia campus rather than the university system. Press supporters continued to lobby for Willcox's rehiring.
University Provost Brian Foster issued a statement Friday indicating Willcox began his duties effective immediately. Willcox was not available for comment.