For Antioch Alumni: No Retreat, No Surrender

Mar 3rd, 2008

By Goldie Blumenstyk, The Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog — read the original blog here.

You’ve got to give them this: Those Antioch College alumni sure are persistent. And possibly litigious.

Just days after the Antioch University Board of Trustees announced that it would indeed proceed with plans to close the liberal-arts college before the next academic year, the college’s Alumni Association issued a written statement today proclaiming plans to keep the college open.

The Alumni Association said that while the university’s trustees and another group of alumni, the Antioch College Continuation Corporation, continue to negotiate over the possibility of reopening the college in the future, it is prepared to keep the college running “nonstop,” either on the original Yellow Springs, Ohio, campus or at another location in Yellow Springs.

The Alumni Association’s message made no mention of such issues as the college’s accreditation status.

But the group did make clear that generations of alumni and supporters who have donated to Antioch College in the past might not be all that pleased about the trustees’ moves. While closing the liberal-arts college, the trustees plan to continue to operate the five other Antioch campuses, which cater to adult students.

According to its statement, the Alumni Association has directed its Legal Committee to “explore all legal avenues to protect the name, assets, and reputation of Antioch College” and resolved to “support, financially and otherwise,” any legal actions that might be brought by faculty members, students, staff members, donors, and others with an interest in the college’s survival.

“The university is clearly trying to force people to abandon hope and leave, knowing that it will be impossible to bring the college back once that happens,” said Ellen Borgersen, vice president of both the Alumni Association and a related group, the College Revival Fund Inc. “This is not only bad faith, it is untenable, and Antioch alumni will not stand for this deceptive behavior.

[ Blog Continues]