November 13, 2007
When I first met with you several months ago, I told you I would come across the street and spend more time with you. I have not done that as much as I have wanted. Instead we’ve sat across from each other and walls and barriers have grown between us. Now, I want to sit with you and solve problems together and I hope you will welcome me to do that. This morning, I hope, will serve as a first step.
As you read this and as we talk, I want to appeal to you to suspend a little bit of your disbelief that we can overcome our problems together. I know this process has been painful and frustrating – for all of us. I am sorry for my mistakes and limitations. I do want to build, or rebuild, your trust and confidence in me. I know that things have happened that have led us to deeply diverge in our views and approaches. Now is the time for us to figure out how to work together again.
I view this note and our conversation this morning as a discussion starter. I have addressed some of the most pressing problem’s. Please send me a list of other problems as soon as you can. Important decisions–important for you, students, and staff, the College, University and Village–need to be made soon. If we work together, I believe we will make sounder decisions and develop more successful processes. I will arrange to meet with you at your request whenever I possibly can.
What is the College Advisory Body, when will it be established and how?
It is an interim body. It should be established within a month to help us transition the College through difficult months ahead. It will be charged with helping to design and establish a permanent College Board of Trustees. Also, it will help to design and launch a process for recruiting a new President. It will take on a significant role in fund-raising. The President of the Alumni Board and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees will appoint the body.
Is there a College debt to the University, what will be done about jt and when?
The college has a debt of approximately 4 million to the University. Of this, 2 million will be paid back by summer of 2008. The remaining 2 million will be paid over a several year period. To affirm these amounts and build trust, designees of the Alumni board will review books and records.
Nothing from the immediate $6.6 million that is to be transferred to the college before the New Year will be used to repay debts.
When will the College recruit?
i. Transfer students – The College will recruit transfer students as soon as possible. We are talking this week to OBR for permission to extend our accreditation for current and transfer students to at least until 2010. When this happens, and we are hopeful it will be very soon, we will start actively recruiting transfer students.
ii. First year students – The College will recruit first year students again when the College IS in better financial condition. Specifically, if we the alumni, the University leadership and the College Advisory Body, working together, are indeed successful in raising 18 million this coming fiscal year (from now until June), and we are assured of success in achieving the target of an additional 25 million next year, with the approval of OBR, the College should be able to start recruiting new students at that time. However, there is much to do regarding our facilities and learning environment before accrediting agencies will be convinced of our sustain ability.
What Faculty and staff positions will be retained?
You have my commitment: I will work with you, the members of AdCil, Andrzej, the Interim President, and the new College Advisory Body to try to keep as many faculty and staff positions as possible. Until we know about our student body – those who will stay and those who will join us ~ and our fund-raising success, we just don’t know what is necessary and realistic.
I know this uncertainty is extremely painful. My heart does truly go out to you all. I look forward to working with Andrzej and you as soon as possible to collaboratively figure out a sound process to determine needs and feasibility and then a process for determining who will be asked to stay.
For those faculty and staff members wbo will not be asked to stay, we know how excruciating this will be, even more so given how late in the year these decisions may be taken – perhaps as long as two or three months from now. We are currently looking in to various ways and options for assisting with transitions.
What Facilities will be available next year?
We are still unsure. As we all agree our campus needs nearly a complete overhaul. With adequate funding that we very hopeful will be forthcoming, this can become a marvelous opportunity. I look forward to working with the office of the President, the Alumni Board and orher appropriate stakeholders (for example the students and faculty group that has been studying the Greening of Antioch) to develop and implement a facilities plan that will help us transform this campus. In the transition time, we are going to need to be imaginative and creative about transforming classrooms, library, gym, office and living, eating and socializing spaces while still funning our colle