The second editor of a University of Missouri Press series has resigned his position. Yesterday, William Foley, a history professor emeritus at the University of Central Missouri tendered his resignation as editor of the beleaguered press’ Missouri Biography Series, a collection of 31 titles exploring the lives of notables with ties to the state, including Laura Ingalls Wilder, Scott Joplin, and President Harry Truman. Foley had been the editor of the series since 1990.
In a stinging letter to university president Timothy Wolfe, Foley wrote that “the machinations to redesign the University of Missouri Press have confirmed my worst fears about its future prospects,” that the press is now led by “quixotic” individuals who “place little value” on scholarship and have “little understanding” of the basics of scholarly publishing.
Foley joins Roger Launius, the former editor of the press’s Sports and American Culture series, who resigned as editor on August 9. According to author Ned Stuckey-French and independent publishers’ rep Bruce Joshua Miller, who are leading the very public opposition to the university’s decision in May to reinvent the press, approximately 40 authors published by the University of Missouri Press have demanded that the rights to their books revert back to them.