Jul 27, 2012 07:10 AM EDT
University of Missouri Professors Request Postponement of Academic Press Closure
The University's Faculty Council has unanimously voted Thursday to send a resolution to the University of Missouri system President Tim Wolfe to reconsider his decision to close the historical press.
Members of the Council expressed anger and dismay over the fact that the university failed to take the faculty's opinions into account in the decision-making process regarding the closing of the press. Later, MU officials said they were digitizing it and transferring it to MU-Columbia.
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Hence, a frustrated Council wants Wolfe to delay the closure pending a discussion with faculty. That 'discussion' the council is requesting is a right, it says; it should have happened before the decision to pull the plug was made. According to several members, the administration held clandestine meetings without faculty knowledge.
Faculty Council is the official governing body of faculty at MU and supposedly has the power to share governance with administrators. Wolfe has acknowledged he did not consult with faculty groups - including the council that represents all four campuses - before making the decision to shut down the press.
Several faculty members say it might make sense for the UM Press to be shifted out from under the UM System and onto the MU campus. But they were adamant that Wolfe should have consulted with them before making the announcement of the transition, as there is a wealth of publishing knowledge right there on campus. Many expressed how the lack of communication from the administration saddened and upset them.
"Once President Wolfe understands the important role of the Press and how important the Press is to a functioning university, the decision doesn't hold up. It doesn't make sense," said Lois Huneycutt, a History professor and member of the Coalition to Save the University of Missouri press.
Sudarshan Loyalka, Nuclear Engineering professor, proposed the resolution, which included six points pertaining to various aspects of the closure. The Council only voted on the first point during Thursday's meeting and will act on the remaining five during its next meeting on Aug. 23.
Usually, faculty members are prohibited from voting on resolutions introduced the same day, but the council unanimously suspended the rule Thursday.