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.