By Matt Baya
I’m an Antiochian and one of the side effects of this affliction is that I have a pretty big imagination. This is a blessing and a curse. The curse in this instance is I can imagine how exponentially better the current situation could be with just a few small changes. Is this worth pondering in this time of crisis, anger, distrust and panic? I’m not sure, but my imagination isn’t bound to what’s logical or prudent, so I want to share what’s been eating at me for the past few weeks.
First off, a small rant about how I currently perceive the Antioch University Board of Trustees. This may be based on eroneous information and poor assumptions, so I am including this in hopes someone ‘in the know’ can correct me and tell me I’m wrong. For the record I did just receive a note from Nancy Crow where she mentions some Board of Trustees members are pledging to begin working with us. This is great. Why they didn’t do this in June, or at least August, still escapes me.
Along those lines, Art Zucker keeps reminding us that a majority of the board are Antioch College alumni but I’ve yet to see any of them writing a passionate letter about how they care about the Antioch College of today. Based on this lack of public support for the college since June I am convinced that they all believe the Antioch College of today is already ‘dead to them’ perhaps since they believe the Antioch that they cared about died years ago. If this isn’t the case then I don’t understand why they haven’t stepped up and been working actively alongside to help us organize, raise funds and make a difference.
These are the trustees of the college, they are supposed to be the penultimate stewards with the experience, skills and ability to steer the college. Yet all I’ve seen them do since June has been apathetic at best. I have been told in the past by friends and family with experience with various Boards of Trustees of different non-profit ventures that the role of a board member is to “GIVE, GET, …. or GET OUT’. I haven’t heard of any trustee donating to the college recently and certainly theres been no public support made towards our fund raising goals, and until the agreement a few weeks ago certainly none of them have been helping us GET any money from others so then this just leaves them the third option to GET OUT and open up space for those with vision and ability to accomplish one or both of the first two roles.
Based on the above assumptions I began to imagine …
… if the Board of Trustees, or even a few members of the board, had stepped up to work ‘with us’ who during these past few months had stepped forward to aid us in our effort in coming up with plans and
… if we had an Antioch University Board Of Trustees with vision and passion for Antioch College NOW, not just nostalgia of the Antioch of their time and some vague vision of a repackaged Antioch University Yellow Springs.
… if on June 12 .. or heck even at the August meetings if they had clearly spelled out conditions under which they’d reverse their decision.
… if the November 3rd announcement wasn’t a vague confusing mess of legalistic documents with catches, conditions and hidden assumptions but was rather an unequivical ‘YES! WE’RE BACK!’
… if in recent AdCil meetings if Andrzej acted as a representative of the Antioch College Community and stood with AdCil & the Faculty in demanding the faculty contract issues were reversed immediately.
… if this was a team effort between the campus community, Yellow Springs, the Board of Trustees and the alumni instead of a seemingly never ending fight internally.
… if the recent arrival of cash raised by the Alumni Board meant that people were being hired and things were looking up on campus instead of the current death spiral.
… if I was happy and excited and eager to promote Antioch to every teenager I hear talking about college choices.
… if our only problems were money and marketing (and accreditation)
I don’t want to be angry anymore.
I don’t want to have to worry about Antioch.
I don’t want to worry about giving money to the college or the alumni board.
I want to love Antioch again.
I want to be proud of it again.
I want those that lack imagination and vision and faith in what we can do if we’re given a chance, to go elsewhere… NOW.
-Matthew Baya ‘92