Referendum Issue #1: Vote of No Confidence in Antioch University Chancellor Tulisse Murdock

Antioch College is grounded in values of democratic shared governance, the worth and dignity of every individual, and the pursuit of social justice. These values have withstood over 150 graduating classes, two world wars, and 21 College Presidents, but right now these values are being threatened more than ever before.
Tulisse Murdock, Chancellor of Antioch University, has violated long-standing Antioch College values, community standards, and the Civil Liberties Code. Line six of the Antioch College Civil Liberties Code states, “We regard these as fundamental necessities of genuine education, individual worth and dignity, and democratic government.” Under Chancellor Murdock’s leadership the Civil Liberties Code has been violated and democratic shared governance has been stifled. The College’s financial stability and reputation have been repeatedly damaged over the past two years by Chancellor Murdock’s administrative decisions, which in many cases also circumvented the College’s shared governance policies. We acknowledge that problems have existed between the College and university long before Chancellor Murdock took office, however, Murdock has failed to bring the two institutions into right relationship and has never been an advocate for the College.
Chancellor Murdock’s removal of President Steven Lawry and her formation of a new administrative team is cause for question. Both President Lawry’s removal, and the formation of a new administrative team, occurred without the consultation of any of the College’s structures of shared governance. Weeks after the fact, Chancellor Murdock came to a meeting of the Administrative Council to answer questions about the recent changes in College administration. We found her answers incomplete and unsatisfactory, and we have yet to receive a candid account of the events of August 31, 2007. The administrative shake-up has damaged the College’s reputation and decision-making abilities at this critical juncture in Antioch’s history.
Moreover, the dehumanizing treatment of the locked-out employees of the Office of Institutional Advancement speaks volumes to Chancellor Murdock’s unprofessional leadership and lack of commitment to ethical standards. Furthermore, we believe the seizure of the Office of Institutional Advancement violated Antioch College’s Statement on Community Standards. That document states, “The theft, seizure or destruction of private or Community property” is grounds for dismissal from the Antioch community. The seizure of the Office of Institutional Advancement on August 31, 2007 not only violated the Statement on Community Standards, but also the Civil Liberties Code in its reference to the individual dignity of those employed in the office. Seizing both the office and the FirstClass accounts of Institutional Advancement employees and going so far as to send illegitimate email replies fictitiously signed by locked-out employees may be illegal, and is a direct violation of the Statement on Community Standards. These activities were initiated without following College policies of democratic shared governance and have only further eroded our trust in the Antioch University Chancellor.
Therefore, in response to these flagrant violations of College policy we are called by our value of social justice to question the legitimacy of the current University administration. We state we have absolutely no confidence in the leadership of Antioch University Chancellor Tulisse Murdock.