Liberal arts won’t stop in Yellow Springs

Sep 11th, 2008

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

YELLOW SPRINGS — “Nothing is carved in stone,” said Dr. Hassan Rahamanian as syllabi were being passed out Thursday during the first meeting of Community Economics and Sustainability, a course he is co-teaching with Dr. Colette Palamar.

Perhaps a fitting sentiment for a college course taught not in a classroom, but in Yellow Springs resident Gordon Chapman’s living room, where students and professors were arranged comfortably on couches, chairs and, in a couple of cases, the floor.

The course is one of the almost 40 offered this fall semester, which began Monday, by the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute, which was formed by former faculty, staff, students and alumni of Antioch College after the college was closed by the Antioch University Board of Trustees earlier this year.

Though negotiations continue between the Antioch University board and Antioch College alumni about the long-term future of the historic liberal arts college, many felt compelled to keep the Antioch spirit alive.

“The Antioch model of education has a lot to offer students, and I couldn’t bear to think of it disappearing,” said Palamar, who, along with Rahamanian, is a former Antioch College professor.

Rahamanian said that after being among the lowest-paid university professors in Ohio at Antioch College, their salaries at Nonstop are slightly better.

Nic Viox, of Westchester, signed on with Nonstop after considering Antioch College in the past. “I just felt like I could help to be one of the students to take a leap of faith in this endeavor,”said Viox, who is registered for five classes at Nonstop.

Though Nonstop is not accredited, students like Viox will keep educational portfolios detailing their work in hopes that another educational institution, perhaps a revived Antioch College, would award them credit.

“I wasn’t sure about it until I got here,” said Ned Burnell, of California. “But this is more than just the continuation of Antioch.”