Missouri Press Employees React To Change In Plans

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COLUMBIA - Current employees reacted Wednesday to news that the University of Missouri Press will not be closing after all, following months of speculation and uncertainty.

"We are still in a state of shock," said Beth Chandler, marketing director at the press.

"I am still trying to absorb and process the information," said Jennifer Gravley, press publicity manager.

In a July news release, the University of Missouri announced that it would close the current press and integrate it into a new campus-wide model. The announcement sparked backlash from community members, faculty and authors.

On Tuesday morning, Chandler said employees met with representatives from UM Human Resources and the University of Missouri Press Advisory Committee. Staff members were then asked to stay on board.

In a news release, UM President Tim Wolfe and MU Chancellor Brady Deaton announced the formation of the University of Missouri Press Advisory Committee.

According to the news release, the press will continue to publish and print books as the press expands its list of digital editions and explore other opportunities presented by new media.

Despite the new course of action, Gravley called the plans "vague."

Chandler said the support the press has received over the past months was "heartening."

"It's nice to know people care about what you do," said Chandler.