Alumni board pledges to raise funds for Nonstop

Oct 29th, 2008

By Diane Chiddister, Yellow Springs News — read the original article here.

At its meeting in Yellow Springs last weekend, the Antioch College Alumni Board unanimously resolved to raise $255,000 to fund the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute through June. The board also recognized Nonstop as an important link to the revival of Antioch College.

“It was very rewarding and fulfilling to hear the alumni board’s confidence in Nonstop,” said Nonstop Institute faculty member Hassan Rahmanian on Monday. “Now we can put more energy and effort into this, with more certainty that we are in operation.”

The alumni board, which met in Yellow Springs, voted to raise $255,000 for Nonstop by April 1st, to fund the program through June 30. The board identified an initial goal of raising $135,000 by Dec. 1, which is the amount needed to fund faculty and staff. If the board reaches that goal, it will go on to raise another $120,000 by April 1 to fund the full program, according to Antioch Alumni Board Vice President Ellen Borgersen this week.

Toward that Dec. 1 goal, at the meeting the board members raised $80,200, which included $42,000 of personal pledges and $37,000 that alumni board members pledged to raise from their personal contacts.

“Most of us are not wealthy. This was digging deep,” said Borgersen of the meeting, which was attended by about 20 alumni board members from around the country. “We want to show the world how much we value Nonstop.”

Board members were very impressed by attending Nonstop classes and presentations during the Nonstop Festival of the previous week, according to Borgersen.

“There is serious intellectually rigorous education going on here,” Borgersen said. “The heart and soul of Antioch College is alive here.”

Until last weekend, Nonstop Institute faculty, staff and students did not know if their effort would continue past December. Launched in February 2008 after the alumni board pledged financial support, the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute is composed of former Antioch College faculty, staff and students who chose to continue the traditions, values and educational model of Antioch College even though the college closed in June. Along with the Nonstop Institute, the initial alumni donation funded Nonstop Antioch, which is the effort’s political arm. This weekend’s resolution pledged funds for the Nonstop Institute only.

Beginning in September, Nonstop Institute, which is not accredited, drew about 20 fulltime traditional college students plus 58 full and part time students from the village, who take classes in local homes, churches and businesses.

According to Rahmanian, now that the Nonstop Institute organizers know they are likely to continue through winter, they plan to redesign some classes to meet the needs of more villagers. Specifically, villagers seemed especially interested in the daylong workshops, so that Nonstop hopes to offer more workshops in winter and spring.

Having the funding pledge in place also means that Nonstop can move ahead to recruit new fulltime traditionally aged students for the winter semester, Rahmanian said. According to Nonstop staff member Robin Heise, about 15 new fulltime students have indicated interest in attending Nonstop this winter, including seven former Antioch College students who are currently on Antioch Education Abroad.

Just as important as the funding was the alumni board’s statement of support for Nonstop as an important link to a revived and independent Antioch College, Rahmanian said.

In past interviews, Nonstop Institute organizers have described their effort as a “bridge” to a new independent Antioch College. A task force of two alumni representives, Lee Morgan and Matthew Derr, and two representatives from the Antioch University Board of Trustees, Dan Fallon and Jack Merselis, have been meeting since July in an attempt to reach an agreement on the terms of creating a liberal arts college independent from Antioch University, in response to a request from the university trustees in June to do so.

Trustees meet
While the Antioch University Board of trustees met last weekend, Oct. 23–25, in Seattle, there was no action taken on the task force effort.

According to an e-mail from Antioch University Board President Art Zucker on Monday, the board heard a status report from the task force, presented by three members of the group.

“The Board recognizes, supports and respects all of the efforts being made by this task force,” Zucker wrote.

No action was taken because no proposals were brought forward by the task force, according to Antioch University spokesperson Lynda Sirk this week.

Great Lakes Colleges Association President Rick Detweiler, who is acting as spokesperson for the task force, just returned after being out of the country this week and was not available for comment. In earlier interviews, he has stated that the task force hopes to bring the effort to conclusion as soon as possible, but that no specific deadline has been set.

According to a press release from the GLCA dated Oct. 15, on that date task force members met with Zucker and Antioch University Chancellor Toni Murdock to appraise them of the task force’s efforts.

“The meeting was positive and constructive, and we made significant progress toward formalizing a resolution,” the press release stated. “It is clear that everyone sitting around the table shared the commitment to the creation of an independent college, and that the only question is the optimal route forward, particularly in these financially turbulent times.”

For more information, contact, or call 937-319-6086.

Boston Chapter of Antioch College Alumni Association Will Host Symposium

Oct 29th, 2008

By the Nonstop Communications Team.

The Boston Chapter of the Antioch College Alumni Association will host a symposium on Saturday, November 15, 2008. The symposium, “Reinventing Liberal Arts Education for the 21st Century: Promising Directions for a New Antioch College”, will take place at Harvard University’s Dudley House in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Speakers include Lee Morgan, Antioch College class of ’66 and College Trustee Pro Tem, Hassan Rahmanian, Executive Collective Member, Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute, and Keynote Speaker Cary Nelson, Antioch College class of ‘67 and President of the American Association of University Professors.

For more information and a complete agenda, please visit the Boston Symposium page.

Antioch College Alumni Board Raises More than $80K for Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute

Oct 25th, 2008

By the Nonstop Communications Team.

Yellow Springs, OH
Today, the Antioch College Alumni Board unanimously resolved to raise $255,000 by April 1, 2009 to fund the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute for the full academic year. The Board plans to raise $135,000 by December 1 and an additional $120,000 by April 1, 2009.

“We have pledged as a Board to raise the $255,000 to fund the full Nonstop program through June 30, 2009, because we know that the quality and creativity of the work being done here is important not only to the future of Antioch College, but also to the future of progressive liberal arts education in this country,” said Ellen Borgersen, Vice President of the Alumni Board. “Members of our Board have collectively spent hundreds of hours with Nonstop faculty, students and staff, and we want all of the alums who have not been able to be here in Yellow Springs to know that the education being offered is academically rigorous and infused with Antioch’s core values: the commitment to experiential learning, to community as a laboratory of democracy, and to winning victories for humanity.”

To kick off the fundraising initiative, this weekend the Antioch College Alumni Board raised $80,200 for the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute from its own members in both cash and pledges. That puts the Board over 60% of the December 1 goal of $135,000. Borgersen said, “We all dug really deep because we wanted to demonstrate our enthusiastic support for the incredible work that the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute faculty and staff have already done, and their exciting plans for the Spring semester.”

“What we have seen this weekend is awe inspiring,” she continued. “The Nonstop events have been incredibly rich, and to see current faculty and students interact with alums is to see that the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute really is the living heart and soul of Antioch College.

“It is critically important to keep the faculty engaged in teaching the Antioch College students of the near future as we await word from the task force that is working to separate Antioch College from Antioch University,” Borgersen concluded. “I urge all alums who care about the future of Antioch College to give now, and to give generously, to support the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute.”

Since the University Board of Trustees announced the suspension of operations in June 2007, alumni across the country have rallied to the defense of their 156 year old alma mater. Alumni chapters have grown worldwide. The Alumni Board is continuing with its fundraising and planning efforts. For additional information on the Antioch College Alumni Association and the College Revival Fund, visit the Antioch College Alumni Association web site,

Learning, Creating, Nonstop Style

Oct 24th, 2008

By Diane Chiddister, Yellow Springs News — read the original article here.

A month and a half after its launch, the students, staff and teachers of the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute face many unknowns. They don’t know how long Nonstop will stay funded. They don’t know if their beloved Antioch College will reopen. They don’t know how many students will show up in the winter.

But they know this for sure: they are engaged in an intense and invigorating experiment in learning that in some ways surpasses the best they hoped for when they imagined Nonstop last year.

“We take each class as a precious thing. Everyone of us is conscious of this,” said Nonstop faculty member Hassan Rahmanian in a recent interview. “This education is not taken for granted.”

Nonstop is many things, according to faculty, students and staff interviewed in recent weeks. It’s a radical experiment in education. It’s a way to keep longtime former Antioch College faculty from leaving town. It’s a college without a campus. It’s a bridge to a new independent liberal arts college. It’s an effort that gives new meaning to “town/gown” collaboration. It’s a way to keep alive the values and traditions of Antioch College.

And it’s also, according to villagers who attend Nonstop classes or the programs of Nonstop Presents!, an invigoration of public discourse in Yellow Springs.

“I think Nonstop has been amazing,” said Phyllis Logan. “It’s an incredibly innovative idea that adds a lot of stimulation to the community.”

Take this week, for example. Villagers, students and faculty could take part in a discussion on the financial crisis and neoliberalism, view a documentary film on the plight of young underclass blacks, improvise a dance and consider the role of Antioch College in American higher education.

And that was only on Monday.

Nonstop Presents! and Nonstop classes enrich Yellow Springs culture in new ways, according to villager Migiwa Orimo.

“Yellow Springs has always been active building community through the arts and theater, but Nonstop creates culture in an interdisciplinary kind of way, a new way of building community,” she said. “It’s a new model.”

The idea of Nonstop emerged last fall, several months after Antioch University trustees announced the college would close. Alumni efforts to reopen the college over the year came and went, and the hopes and disappointments of each effort felt to many like an emotional roller coaster, faculty and students said at the time. Sometime during this process, faculty began to consider the possibility of moving ahead even without the campus, offering to any interested students the mix of critical inquiry, co-op work experience and shared governance that they see as uniquely Antiochian. When the Antioch College Alumni Board pledged $1 million to Nonstop in February, the effort was officially launched.

Since then, Nonstop has been the little educational engine that could. The majority of former Antioch College faculty signed on, and currently the effort has 14 fulltime and three part-time faculty and 11 staff. And while no one had a clue how many students — or if any students — would show up this fall to a nonaccredited college without a campus, Nonstop drew about 20 traditionally aged college students, along with about 58 full and part-time nontraditional students from the village.

Why students came
Most of the traditionally aged students came to Nonstop because, after attending Antioch College the last year or two, they couldn’t imagine going anywhere else, several said in a recent interview.

“I fell in love with Antioch the first year I was here,” said Caroline Czabala of Chicago. “It changed my life.”

Third-year student Jessica Clark, who had been homeschooled as a child, sees Antioch as the only college she could find that, like homeschooling, allows her to pursue her own path of learning in her own way.

“Rather than the teacher giving you knowledge, Antioch inspires your own intelligence,” she said. “And the teachers are exceptional.”

Second-year student Juliet Hansen of Reynoldsburg came to Nonstop because she felt that Antioch’s combination of critical inquiry and real-world experience was a learning model she couldn’t find somewhere else.

“It’s very engaging about what’s going on in the real world, not just about digesting knowledge and spitting it back on tests,” she said. “It’s real learning. It changed every aspect of my life.”

While these students would prefer that Nonstop were accredited — organizers continue to work on finding ways to gain accreditation — they came to Nonstop well aware of its lack of accreditation and are willing to stay regardless. It helps, several said, that they now pay $1,500 a semester, compared to more than $15,000 previously.

Nonstop has also attracted a few first-year traditionally aged students, who came because they wanted the Antioch College education and they wanted to be a part of what they perceive as a radical experiment in education.

“I’ve never met so many people who are so passionate about something,” said first-year student Rose Pelzl, who grew up in Yellow Springs. “I want to stress that people don’t build a college in three months, but that’s what we’ve been doing. I can’t imagine another group of people able to pull this off.”

Villager Sylvia Carter Denny is one of the nontraditional students who signed up for Nonstop classes. She finds them invigorating, Carter Denny said in a recent interview.

“I’m looking at the world and seeing more,” she said.

How it works
Hassan Rahmanian’s Nonstop class, Community Economics and Sustainability, takes place several times a week in the living room of Gordan Chapman’s Livermore Street home. Because they are meeting in the living room of a private home, both students and teachers must work hard to create a situation that works well for everyone, including the person who lives in the home.

“It’s a process of negotiation to make this living room into a classroom,” Rahmanian said. “Everything is examined more carefully than in a typical classroom. Everything is negotiation.”

That process of negotiation around classroom space extends to all other aspects of Nonstop as well, according to Nonstop faculty member Chris Hill, since the Nonstop community is creating a college from scratch. Consequently, Nonstop teachers and students liken their current challenges to those faced by students who in the past at Antioch College went off to new places for co-op jobs, and had to create a new community. At Nonstop, that creativity is taking place all the time, by teachers, students and staff. In some ways, sharing this experience has broken down barriers between groups, Rahmanian said.

“Students see that teachers are taking the same risks as they are,” he said. “We are all stepping off this precipice together.”

As well as some private homes, Nonstop classes take place in local churches and businesses. Where they do not take place is any building owned by Antioch University, which does not allow Nonstop organizers to use the library for their class needs, nor spaces open to the public, such as the Glen Building or Rockford Chapel, for meeting spaces.

According to Antioch University CFO Tom Faecke in an email, because the university has not endorsed Nonstop, allowing the group to use university facilities could create confusion for the public.

The lack of cooperation by Antioch University has made Nonstop organizers even more appreciative of the Yellow Springs community.

“We feel so grateful that the village has embraced us,” Hill said, giving as an example the Yellow Springs Library that offers its facilities as a place where faculty can put their assigned texts on reserve for students to use.

All of the immersion into Yellow Springs has made former Antioch College students feel a far stronger connection to the community than they did when they spent most of their time on campus, Hill said, and that connection also contributes to their sense of themselves as useful members of a society.

Knowing that Nonstop would need to attract villagers to its classes as well as draw on traditionally aged students, some faculty designed courses intended to address issues relevant to the Yellow Springs community. For instance, longtime professor Rahmanian, along with environmental studies assistant professor Colette Palamar, created a new class on Community Economics and Sustainability that uses recent writings on strategies for sustainable local economics.

“We wanted to help the village look at these issues,” he said.

There is no doubt that creating a college from the ground up comes with challenges. Faculty and students alike spend considerable amounts of energy just figuring out where their equipment is coming from, according to Nonstop faculty member Dennie Eagleson, who teaches photography and community journalism.

“The first week was all about, where are my tools?” Eagleson said. Accustomed to teaching her photography classes with a strong darkroom component, she has had to scale back her expectations and her goals.

“I’ve had to change things a lot,” she said. But she has adapted by using some donated equipment and some newly purchased, although she has to make do without a darkroom.

But her difficulty regarding equipment is more than balanced by the richness she finds in the Nonstop classes due to the mixture of traditionally aged students and older students from the village, Eagleson said. In her beginning photography class, for instance, four Yellow Springs woman and two younger students learn together.

“It’s been sweet to see the level of generosity” between the younger and older students, Eagleson said, calling the mixed-age classes “a great challenge and an inspiration.”

Seeing the positive interactions between older and younger students, Eagleson believes that Nonstop is not just about maintaining Antioch traditions, but also finding ways to create a better Antioch College.

“We’ve learned some great things from doing this,” Eagleson said. “This model that includes villagers will make us stronger in terms of how we grow.”

Some things better at Nonstop
Nonstop organizers originally worried that students, having no central meeting place on campus to gather, would suffer from a lack of community. What has transpired instead, according to several students and faculty, is a sense of community that seems in some ways stronger than that of Antioch College.

“Before there was more splintering off of interest groups,” Eagleson said. “This feels more successfully inclusive than we ever were at Antioch.”

Part of that inclusiveness can be linked to the smallness of the group, according to several students, who said that having to work hard together in so many ways has helped bring together students who might otherwise focus on differences. Like so many other things about Nonstop, creating community requires conscious choice and conscious actions, over and over, so that students take nothing for granted. Nonstop students have created new traditions, such as a Thursday evening pizza party and a Friday noon community potluck, to which all are welcomed.

The students’ awareness of the need to create community was reflected in mid-September after the windstorm that knocked out power in the village. A group of Nonstop students set up a table downtown to help villagers identify stores open to buy needed supplies, people who needed help, and volunteers available to provide assistance.

“Students did that on their own initiative. They organized ways to help the whole village,” Hill said.

After the power outage following the windstorm, students also made clear the importance of their classes in sustaining their sense of community. Rahmanian’s class missed only one day, the Monday after the storm, he said, because students insisted on Tuesday that they meet anyway, even though a tree that had fallen on Chapman’s house meant that they needed to find a new venue. So the class met on benches behind the Yellow Springs library. None of his students has missed a class so far this year, Rahmanian said.

One aspect of Nonstop that also works well, and in some ways perhaps better than in past years, is community government, according to Ellen Borgersen, an alumna who is president of the College Revival Fund. Away for several weeks when the fall term began, Borgersen was impressed when she returned and attended the Excil, Comcil and Nonstop community meetings at which, in the Antioch College tradition of shared governance, Nonstop decisions are made.

“These were three of the best meetings I’ve ever attended,” Borgersen said, stating that she was comparing the Nonstop governance meetings not just to recent Antioch College meetings but those that took place when she was a student.

“They were serious discussions on important topics,” she said. “The arguments were cogent, crisp, and when people disagreed, they heard each other out and reached conclusions. They were truly productive.”

The skills learned in community government are significant ones, Borgersen said, including working with diverse people, being part of a team, and learning to disagree with civility and common purpose, she said.

“Serious learning goes on there,” she said.

What’s next?
While Nonstop faculty and students feel proud of the innovative experience they created, they sometimes feel weary.

“We know we’re in the middle of something interesting, but we also experience the strain,” Eagleson said. “There are so few of us making this fly.”

When he feels depleted, Rahmanian finds new energy from his fellow faculty and staff, he said, and several said the enthusiasm of Nonstop students keeps them moving forward.

But many unanswered questions remain, and they can be draining as well. According to Hill, most Nonstop organizers expected that a task force’s current effort to separate the college from the university would be over by now, but that effort continues. This weekend the Antioch College Alumni Board will meet in Yellow Springs and determine whether Nonstop will continue being funded in the spring. The recent collapse of the financial markets has made all of these issues more complex, Hill said.

While Nonstop sees itself as a bridge to a new and independent Antioch College, it is also more than a bridge, organizers believe.

For instance, Nonstop has maintained a lively Web presence, garnered international publicity through a recent Associated Press article, and kept the Antioch College way of learning alive in its new configuration in Yellow Springs, Hill said. All of these efforts keep a future independent Antioch College in the forefront of people’s minds in a way that a closed college would not.

“We feel we’re not only an expense but an investment,” in the future of the college, Hill said. “We feel we are taking on challenges that will be important issues in the near future” should the effort to create an independent college succeed.

In the meantime, even though many questions remain unanswered and they sometimes feel weary, Nonstop faculty, staff and students are deeply engaged in creating a new educational and community venture while preserving the values and traditions of Antioch College.

For more information, contact, or call 937-319-6086.

Environmental journalist to read from new book

Oct 22nd, 2008

By Aaron Keith Harris, Greene County Dailies / Xenia Daily Gazette — read the original article here.

YELLOW SPRINGS — On Thursday, Oct. 23, environmental journalist and travel writer Peter Thomson will be reading from his new book, Sacred Sea: A Journey to Lake Baikal, at 2 p.m., at The Yellow Springs Art Council, 108 Dayton Street, Yellow Springs.

Thomson, an Antioch College alumnus, joined the fledgling National Public Radio environmental news program Living on Earth in 1991 as its founding producer and editor and helped to bring home numerous awards for the program over nearly a decade as Living On Earth’s Producer, Senior Editor, Western Bureau Chief, International and Special Projects Editor and Senior Correspondent. His reporting for Living On Earth took him to Brazil, Morocco, Alaska and many other parts of the U.S.

Sacred Sea (Oxford University Press, 2007) tells the unforgettable story of his recent travels through Russia and Siberia to Lake Baikal, a World Heritage site known as the deepest and supposedly purest body of water on earth. Naturalist Bill McKibben declares the book “an intellectual adventure,” while Russian specialist Thomas Hodge describes it as “a wandering son’s meditation on his family’s footloose history, an experienced eco-journalist’s indictment of how we squander our birthrights, and a gifted observer’s comic commentary on Americans, Russians, and most people in between.” Sacred Sea has received accolades from The New York Times, National Geographic Magazine and was named a Bookshelf Selection by the journal Natural History.

The event is free as part of Nonstop Festival Week, organized by the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute in Yellow Springs and will be followed by a book signing at The Epic Book Shop, 118 Dayton Street.

AAUP President Cary Nelson to Talk on Future of Liberal Arts

Oct 21st, 2008

By the Nonstop Communications Team.

October 20, Yellow Springs, Ohio- On Friday October 24, at 7 p.m., at the Methodist Church in Yellow Springs, president of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Cary Nelson, will speak on Globalization and the Future of the Liberal Arts.

Nelson’s recent research includes the study of negative effects of globalization on liberal arts education in New Zealand, Australia and the U.S. Among other themes, he explores the pressures imposed on academia by a growing trend toward professionalization in higher ed and poses the question, ‘What happens to higher education when neoliberal and managerial ideology become not only ruthless but also unscrupulous?’.

An Antioch College alumnus, Nelson has been known as a reformer and higher education activist for four decades, advocating for democratic governance principles and free-thinkership within the academy.

In a transition described by colleague Michael Bérubé as a “Ginsbergian wild man” becoming an “organization man,” Nelson was recently reelected as president of the American Association of University Professors. There, in addition to vanguarding major reorganization efforts, he advocates the cause of the growing constituency of graduate assistants and contingent faculty. Meanwhile, he continues his scholarly focus on preserving the cultural heritage of the American Left.

Nelson’s many books include Revolutionary Memory: Recovering the Poetry of the American Left (2001) and Higher Education Under Fire: Politics, Economics and the Crisis of the Humanities (1995), co-authored with Michael Bérubé.

The event is free and open to the public as part of Nonstop Festival Week, organized by the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute, in Yellow Springs.

Lecture on Intellectual Property Protection

Oct 21st, 2008

By the Nonstop Communications Team.

On Tuesday, October 21, 7 p.m. at the Bryan Center Gym at 100 Dayton Street, lawyer, artist and Antioch alumna, Judi Church, will speak on the history of intellectual property protection and entrepreneurship. Amongst other themes, she will explore how the First Amendment and Fair Use doctrines limit the scope of copyright protection, while drawing from a number of cases in music and the arts.

Church speaks regularly on handling intellectual property issues in mergers and acquisitions and has written articles on the protection of cultural property under United States law. Her practice focuses on a wide range of corporate and intellectual property matters including licensing; trademark clearance; collaboration agreements; international protection of trademarks, patents and copyrights; computer law; e-commerce and new media joint ventures.

She has advised clients such as AT&T, Carlyle, Discovery, Faber-Castell, and Prudential Financial. In addition, her experience extends into the life sciences industry, where she has represented such clients as Merrill Lynch, Misys and Mitsui.

This lecture is free and open to the public as part of Nonstop Festival Week, organized by the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute.

Jean Gregorek – Another Education Is Possible — I hope – 10/20/2008 – MP3

Oct 20th, 2008

Jean Gregorek, Nonstop faculty member, gave this presentation on the state of higher education as part of  the inaugural event of nonstop’s ‘festival week’–a week organized by ‘nonstop presents’ designed to showcase the contributions of antioch alumni and to provide intellectual and artistic enrichment for the yellow springs/greater miami valley community.

The festival week featured film screenings, talks, book readings, workshops, dance performances, and reports from nonstop classes and student groups.  She describes this presentation as:

‘another education is possible–i hope’ was a first pass at constructing a genealogy of various strands of utopian thought that have gone into the making of the educational ideals of antioch college, culminating in a (too-) brief meditation on the influence of the ongoing alter-globalization movement and current thinking on bioregionalism and what these new directions might imply for a small and struggling educational institution.

AAUP to Conduct Investigation of Antioch University and the Closing of Antioch College

Oct 17th, 2008

By the Nonstop Communications Team.

The AAUP (American Association of University Professors) has notified Antioch University that it will launch an investigation of Antioch University and the university’s closing of Antioch College. The AAUP will investigate “governance issues raised by the university’s closing of a core component of the institution and, indeed, its founding college”.

The AAUP is a Washington, D.C.-based organization of college professors and academics. Their stated mission is to “advance academic freedom and shared governance, to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education, and to ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good.”

In a letter to Antioch University Chancellor Tullisse Murdock and Board of Trustees Chair Arthur Zucker from October 1st, 2008, the AAUP stated, “We have come to the view that the closing of Antioch College, whether it proves to be temporary or permanent, is an event the AAUP needs to address.” In addition to the closing, the AAUP will investigate “governance implications for the continuing institution, namely, whether, without the college, Antioch University will operate in accordance with basic principles of academic governance”.

The AAUP maintains that the situation is of “concern to the academic community”. The AAUP general secretary has authorized the appointment of a committee to conduct a “full inquiry and prepare a report”. The committee will “address the prospects of whether and in what form Antioch College will resume, and indeed, whether there was a realistic alternative to closing it when that was done.”

The ad hoc committee consists of: Professor Diane C. Zannoni, Chair, Department of Economics, Trinity College, Connecticut; Professor Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Department of Industrial and Labor Relations and Economics, Cornell University; Professor Rudy Fichtenbaum, Department of Economics, Wright State University; Professor Duane Storti, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle. The committee will report its findings to the Association’s standing Committee on College and University Governance.

News of the impending investigation has been featured in the The Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog and The Yellow Springs News.

AAUP to Investigate Closing of Antioch College

Oct 16th, 2008

By Scott Smallwood, The Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog — read the original news blog here.

The American Association of University Professors plans to investigate whether Antioch University violated faculty-governance standards when it shut down Antioch College.

The Yellow Springs News, in Ohio, reported on Friday that the AAUP sent a letter this month to Antioch leaders informing them of the investigation. Anita Levy, an associate secretary of the association, told the newspaper that the group was concerned that professors had not been properly consulted and that their due-process rights had been violated. An ad hoc committee of professors from around the country who have not been involved in the case will conduct the investigation.

Antioch University’s chancellor, Tullisse A. Murdock, told the newspaper she would meet with other Antioch University campus presidents to devise a response to the AAUP letter. But she also noted that four teams of financial and legal experts had already analyzed Antioch’s ledgers and determined that the financial exigency that led to closing the college was necessary.

The university said in 2007 that it was unable to weather the operating deficits of the 156-year-old college and announced that is was closing it down until it came up with a different operating plan or found a buyer. Earlier this year, it appeared the university was close to a deal to sell the college to a new corporation led by alumni and former trustees. But those talks fell apart. —Scott Smallwood

News Blog Continues.