April 27th 2009 Interview with Matthew Derr

My first question is… how are you doing ?

I’m doing well. This has been a very busy period in a very busy year. And I’ve been spending most of my time doing fundraising, travelling, getting ourselves in order in that way.

The task force met on Sunday in NY, with Toni and Art; how would you describe the atmosphere of the meeting?

Very positive, very focused on the specific steps that we have to take to make this separation happen and to prepare… both boards for making a really monumentous and important decision.

The press release talks about June 30th as the latest possible date for the resolution, do you anticipate and earlier resolution?

I think the hope is that it would be earlier. The date of the 30th relates to the hopeful transfer of the college, so that’s the conclusion that we’ve all hoped for and worked for hoped for in these past two years-that the college would ultimately be independent and that’s the date that’s critical to that. So if the definitive agreements come about sooner that’s what we’d like to see happen. Going beyond that date becomes problematic for everyone.

When will the ACCC get its 501(c)3?

Well, we’re all filed and it’s really in the hands of the Internal Revenue Service but we sought as much help as we can in moving that process along so I don’t know the answer to that but we hope very quickly.

Any vague estimate?

Not really, no.

Why was there such an imperative to create a non-successor corporation?

I don’t know what there is and it’s an area where there’s been a lot of conjecture and a lot of talk and the Board Pro Tem is in the process of understanding the whole scope of decisions around whatever kind of entity the college becomes as a separate 501(c)3, so I don’t think there’s an answer to that question yet.

In a previous interview Lee Morgan said “we’ve been trying very hard not to be a successor corporation…”

I think there are elements of that that have to do with the physical plant, that have to do with all sorts of things. I think that he has a view of it that he’s developed and we’re trying to get more information and get the whole board up to speed and get Lee up to speed on all of that but we haven’t got through that process yet. And it’s a tricky area because it doesn’t involve just one concern, it involves the way in which the separation happens with the university and what happens with endowments and records and obviously future/past staffing and facilities and what’s in the facilities…it’s not an easy question to answer I think it’s interwoven with all of the other decisions, so I’ll let Lee speak for himself but that’s my perception.

In the worst case scenario-I mean second to worst case scenario-the agreement would be reached on June 30th; that would be the end of the faculty and staff contracts for Nonstop. Is the board planning to take steps to communicate prospects to faculty and staff?

First, the two things are unrelated, June 30th has to do with the end of the fiscal year, and frankly it has to do with really needing to have a deadline here for the transfer and I think people should really read the press release carefully because the earliest possible time phrase has everything to do with working to complete the definitive agreements so that the two boards can really make decisions about the separation in time for the transfer at the end of the month. […] It’s not my sense that any statement is about to be made. I think the board has been informed by Nancy Crow who’s also a board member that the task force is doing its work and that a report will be produced, but beyond that I think the relationship between the two things is not fully developed at this point.

Is the board aware of the ACAN petition in support of Nonstop?

It is.

Do you think the petition demands are reasonable?

It’s a long list of demands; I think there are elements of it that I think everybody can understand are maybe hard for the Board Pro Tem to read. I think they’re trying to behave as responsibly as they can and as thoughtfully as they can and I think these are extraordinarily difficult circumstances.

Will the Board Pro Tem respond to the petition in any manner?

As I understand it, it was written to an alumni audience and Nancy Crow shared it with the Board ProTem as a whole. I guess I understand the nature of the petition is that at some point it will be shared directly with the Board Pro Tem, so there is no immediate plan to respond -or to whom a response should be written.

When and where will the BPT meet next?

There are a number of options on that, I’m just going to say that right now we have a plan to meet and really hear from some of the expert counsel and legal team around the definitive agreements, but at this point that’s all that’s established.

In the accreditation report it was stated that the ACCC looked into accreditation really early in its deliberations, why is the report coming out so late?

It wasn’t intended to come out, it was a request that the Transition Advisory Group made with me here in Yellow Springs a couple of weeks ago. We thought that it might be helpful for people to understand what we’ve learned thus far. It’s not a fixed document, it’s not a finished document; it just represents what the board has learned until this point. Further work is going to be done and obviously the circumstances around the separation of the college and the timing have a lot to do with what accreditation will look like. We’re obviously interested in getting the place in the kind of condition that it should to be a college and to be able to make the decisions that lead to accreditation as quickly as possible so we’re looking for the fastest route that we can sustain.

So the board is ready to consider other alternatives than the timeline that’s outlined in the report?

The timeline that’s outlined is essentially what we’ve learned to date and we’re continuing to do more research on accreditation.

Who authored the report?

Frances Horowitz is the board member who’s had the most to do with accreditation and it’s pulled from a lot of different communications. I think there’s a number of pens involved but I think that Frances is the person that’s the most knowledgeable on the board.

The report was the first place where the phrase “small cadre of faculty” was used, even though there were implications before that only a core of a few faculty would remain it’s the first time we’re seeing it in writing, even though it had been said that these discussions hadn’t happened yet. So they have happened to a certain extent?

I don’t think there’s a contradiction there because small is a vague concept; I think we’ve talked very openly about student-faculty ratio and an entering class that is small at the beginning, in part because we want to make sure that the resources are there for the faculty and students and the funding to support it is there so the small cadre comment is being taken out of context a little bit if it’s not seen in the same vain as the other comments that have been made. It will be a small college to begin with, I think everybody knows that , so it’s not a surprise to read a reference to a small faculty.

Did you get the reversion clause revised in the definitive agreement?

It’s not a difficult question to answer in the sense of confidentiality but what I’d say is that the board–the university board of governors and the task force and the board pro tem seem to all be on the same page as far as the questions that involve reversion: that the university be protected and be able to exercise its fiduciary responsibility and that the college be free and independent. One critical issue that’s been talked about is the capacity of the college to go out and finance building projects or really anything that the future president and board would like to finance, if there are reversion clauses that cause that to not be possible that’s not acceptable and the university understands that and said that they support that concept.

What will be the main challenges of the next couple of months according to you?

If I knew it, I’d know exactly what to do! I think this is a very stressful moment, particularly for the Nonstop Community. There’s so much that’s unknown, and yet there’s that timeline and deadline that seem to be looming; people are gonna be making very difficult decisions, and Pro Tem Board is going to be in the position of trying to figure out whether the financial support and the demands for the revival of the college meet up. And I’m optimistic and positive that they will but it’s going to be overly demanding next months.

Are you optimistic?

I am. Very. I believe that the college is too important and too critical in Higher Education to fail. And I marry that to the opportunity to really create something that is exciting and returns the college to its place as a bully-pulpit in Higher Education. So, I’m optimistic in part because I think philosophically there’s a need for Antioch and practically and pragmatically I’m optimistic because I see the level of support that’s out there, I see people extending themselves in ways to save the college and to reinvent the college that are moving. I’m also optimistic about the process with the University, which is the embedded question there. Nothing has happened in the task force work that leads me to feel that we’re not gonna come up with an agreement.

Where are you going next?

I’m here in Yellow Springs for two days, and then off to fundraising.


All over the place.

Thank you for your time.

Blog: Dispatches from the Left Forum, Part II

“A couple of years ago if you had held a panel about banks at the Left Forum at 10 a.m., nobody would have showed up!” The theater of Pace University, however, was full this morning, and I got one of the very last seats. So, the panelists were asked, should we nationalize the banks or not? Yes, they unanimously answered, with slight divergences. The first one proposed using bailout money to create new, accountable financial institutions; he advocated for “creeping socialism” which, although “disappointing” was actually “heroic under current conditions”: creating economic alternatives to Wall Street economy–changing material relations concretely instead of changing the system first. The second speaker advocated for a not only complete but also permanent nationalization of the banks (not the alan greenspan type, which he called not nationalization but “pre-reprivatization”!) in order to get democratic control of finance and credit–he quoted Stiglitz saying that the neoliberal theory of the efficiency of the private sector had been proven false. He stated that Geithner’s plan was worse than Paulson’s, as, while they had the same objective–Geithner’s plan was more “deceptive” as it delays its financing over several years. Both he and the following speaker challenged the notion according to which banks absolutely had to be bailed out to avoid a complete collapse of the economy, and the “too big to fail” argument. Nomi Prins, the next speaker (a lively, loud, boastful, charismatic young woman, standing out in a born-before-WWII all white male academics panel) “Why would you let something become “too big to fail?”” she asked; plus, AIG could have been left to fail: “the system will collapse argument is simply not true.” She also debunked the myth of the bailout money ultimately coming back to taxpayers in the form of loans: “Goldman Sachs has not intention to deal with any of you.” she told the audience. She advocated for a partial nationalization of the banks: nationalizing the commerical banks (everyday consumer transactions) and for letting “the other parts fail”. She very vehemently condemned the current decisions of the Obama administraion: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results,” she said, “this is doing worse things each time and getting worse results.”
David Harvey was the last to speak, and all of us groupies in the room (who read his “brief history of neoliberalism” and consider it a gateway drug) held out our breath. He started his speech by saying that even though he was very glad to be part of this panel in front of such a large audience today, he wanted to remind us that for the past 30 years, he and the other few scholars who had argued along similar lines had been systematically marginalized, and that there had been a rising depletion of such scholars through the neoliberalization of academia, and, as a result, he said, we are finding ourselves with “a whole Economics profession that is dominated with people who have no idea what the fuck is going on.” Later, he said that he was seeing a rising generation of grad students that were promising but that for years to come academia would suffer from the vacuum created by the “neoliberal takeover of academics.”
Of course, Antioch comes to mind here, as at many other times in the forum, and especially the role it could take in being a leader in this rise of the left in years to come. About 7 or 8 times this weekend I got very excited, started scribbling frantically in my moleskine notebook about how Antioch could be exactly what this speaker is talking about, and how the story of the nonstop struggle and the rehired faculty and staff could be the beginning of a grand project as the renewed bastion of the left, a think tank for a post-neoliberal world. After a few minutes, though, I tend to remember that this does not seem at all like something that the PTB are even thinking about, and I went on to ask myself if there was, at all, any institution that ever held on to its promises.
So, back to David Harvey, who was using his celebrity status to extend his speech way over the time limit. What else? Wall Street controls part of Congress: as long as this is not changed, little hope for mainstream politics. “Bail out the bank and screw the people is the government’s strategy. We didn’t care when it happened in Mexico but now it’s happening to us.” Harvey is also pissed at how we’re misappropriating Keynes in the discourse about the rescue packages, the G20 etc…. when we’re still evidently operatiing in a neoliberal framework. He called for the left to expand its imagination. He talked about demonetarizing parts of the economy, for example, decommodifying housing completely.

Later I went to a panel about the impact of Venezuela on Latin America. (By the way, I don’t know if you saw, but Chavez yesterday gave Obama a copy of Eduardo Galeano’s Open Veins of Latin America, the idea of which makes my stomach jolt a little every time i think about it.) Nothing new at the panel, mostly, and even some party line as the Consul herself was speaking (but not only, professors too so it wasn’t too polished.) the solidarity programs were described in much detailed (ALBA, the Miracle Program, Heating Oil, PetroCaribe, Banco del Sur, etc…), but, most importantly, William Robinson outlined the three current tendencies in Latin American, as a response to the crisis: 1) the radically anticapitalist reponse (Venezuela, Bolivia, and possibly Ecuador), the more moderate, reformist states (Argentina, Chile, Brazil), and the right wing reaction (Columbia, Mexico, Peru.) He argued that Venezuela could very well tip the balance and set the example for moving beyond limited reform, thus influencing his neighboring countries. (Especially if the Banco del Sur is a success–though Brazil is a strong obstacle to it.)

Wearing an Antioch College t-shirt at a leftist symposium is either a fantastic or a terrible idea, depending on your level of sociability of the day. This morning, I was stopped every three feet, more or less, by alumni or sympathizers. An older woman stopped me and said, “Oh I’m from Antioch too. I work with their PhD program. -I’m from the college, I answered, I’m in Yellow Springs -But there’s nothing there, she said, what do you do? -The faculty are still teaching -You mean you’re at McGregor? -No, No, the faculty of Antioch College are still teaching in Yellow Springs. We’re not closed, we’re still fighting. -Oh. We’re still fighting too, good luck.” She hurried off quickly

Blog: Dispatches from the Left Forum, part I

Whenever I go to any leftist gathering, whether it’s an anti-G8 rally, an alter-globalist european symposium or an academic conference, I always feel like running with open arms to every person who crosses my path and shouting “God am I glad to see you!” I usually manage to refrain myself though, but I must say that this time, at the Left Forum, it is particularly hard. First,everybody is evidently in a good mood because of the current wind shift–and quite astonishingly friendly and united–it’s a little bit like Antioch alumni around the the time of the first Business Plan, if you can still picture it. Second, you can tell from the program that we all have a lot in common: panels hold names ranging from Seattle-generation hipster buzzwords (“From the barrio to the barricades: visions for a better world,” “Is another world really possible?”) to more old-fashioned stuff (“Beyond Capital’s Crisis,””Class struggle and the crisis: from workers to capital and back again” and Marx, Marx, Marx.) There’s also some more specific panels about campus activism, foreign policy, economic development, radical media, latin american examples, anarchy, global warming, race and gender, and yes, here and there, Obama.

Since between twenty and thirty 2-hour panels happen simultaneously at every time slot, you can imagine it’s quite difficult to choose. I decided to adopt the Groupie Strategy: my main criteria, then, is to go see the people I know; I have my list of the People-I-Just-Can’t-Miss. This morning, for example, I went to a discussion about Joseph Schwartz’s book “The future of democratic equality: rebuilding social solidarity in a fragmented America” because (drumrolls) Gayatri Spivak was there.( Now, the fact that I usually understand about a third (on good days) of what she writes is in no way a deterrent to my adoration. Students of Isabella’s will understand this feeling, I am sure.) The first speakers summed up Schwartz’s book–one of the main theme being the rebuilding of solidarity–“solidaristic politics”– in the US both as a moral and an intrsumental force. This “solidarity of citizenship” would be expressed in rainbow coalitions in which unity would be found among different groups, while preserving each one’s distinctiveness (Textbook alterglobalism, but okay…) A public philosophy should also be created, it was argued–and this is where Schwartz became controversial for the panel– as he accused post-structuralist thinkers to have given up on influencing public discourse and thus having abandoned the frontlines of the struggle against inequality. Corey Walker, Brown University Professor, critiqued that view by positing that 1) politics of identity were “always already a condition of any politics” (We, the people… who is included in the we? he asked) and that 2) our political imaginations were limited by the “citadels of western thinking”, and the limits of that thinking, sealed too early, needed to be pushed back–and new categories created… an activity of the poststructuralists! There was a visible rift, on the panel, between the two old-school marxists, talking about very concrete measures, and the two poststructuralist advocates, who advocated for placing the political fight on another level–the usual tension between the urgency of the socio-economic situation and what it requires as immediate answers, and the skepticism over an over-used proven-to-fail system–and the seemingly never-ending process questioning it would imply.

Then Spivak finally spoke, and, I must say, I could not repeat word for word what she said, or even weave an argument in a linear way. Not that I wasn’t listening to her every word, but I think even if you were there it wasn’t all linear and coherent. (I think she’s queering the idea of coherence, as Chelsea would say…) She is very elliptic, (if not ADD..) going from one idea to the next quickly– expecting you to get an idea in a sentence and then move on, as in “i’m going to drop an intellectual bomb on your every 5 seconds and then change the subject: deal with it”. She’s definitely one of the most charismatic, lively, interesting, funny speakers I ever saw. So, in about 14 minutes, she talked about: learning Chinese, Education, Criminal Capitalism, High school children, the falling bottom of the global South (“and they’re not in trouble because of poststructuralists you know”), she made fun of Derrida, Stiglitz, Jeffrey Sachs and the french media, she mentioned the system defeating Obama, short-lived mobilizations around crises, European centered masculine humanism, the failure of poststructuralists to pay attention to industrial capitalism, their inability to get tenure so quit accusing them, Communism in Bengal, Union politics, the world social forum, Dubois, Eric Foner, and the intellectual subaltern. Memorable quotes include: “Education–that’s where you build solidarity, that’s where I begin.” “To be equal is not to be the same, we can’t refuse this double bind.” and “Poststructuralists are a blip in the machine. They’re interesting, I like them, but….”
During Questions and Answers, I walked to the microphone shortly after Norman Birnbaum asked his question– and asked about the prospects for solidarity-building education in the current global context of the corporatization of Higher Ed, etc… Spivak said she signed the Antioch petition even though she rarely signs anything, really, and called Marx to the rescue, in a mid-weary, mid-esoteric way. Meanwhile, Colombus-Lawyer-Gerry- Bello-friend Bob Fitrakis had spotted me in the audience and came up to me afterwards to talk about Antioch.

The next panel I went to was much less impressive, I must say. It was called “Secularism and the Radical Imagination,” and I went so that I could make up to Iveta for my post-secularism essay being late by making it cutting-edge. There were, however, very few of us in the little classroom on the third floor of Pace University, to listen to the panel of CUNY Grad Students who gave their talks. The presentation was quite disappointing–content wise, it was really nothing you wouldn’t get in a handout Iveta would give you –secularism as false neutrality/tolerance, in reality very much based on christianity, double standards with islam, etc….Worst than the bland content, the delivery was either terribly boring– or the late-twenty-something grad student was unbearably pretentious, arrogant and, really, not that smart. This kindof thing is always a little reassuring however; former admissions director Angie Glukhov, who is now at University of Dayton always says that Antioch students could wipe the floor with the grad students she admits to UD– it’s quite reassuring (thinking about our uncertain shaky futures, Nonsters…) to know we could do the same with some CUNY grad students. (Sorry Frances Horrowitz…(ps it’s not too late to salvage us..!))

At 3 PM, the classroom for the future of Palestine after Gaza was so full I had to migrate to the end of the hall, to Africa and the Crisis of Global Capitalism. Panelists were editors or journalists for independent media covering African news and devoted most of their presentation to ridiculing the new york times and presenting alternative versions to popular newsstories about Africa. The East Congo conflict, for example, presented as “tribal wars” by the mainstream, is, Milton Allimadi argues, a well-planned project for Western companies to plunder raw materials in the region–and the guerrillas are not guerrillas but hired “corporate finance terrorists.” Another issue: Somali piracy, suddenly on the forefront when it’s nothing new–whereas the toxic dumping of western corporations on somali shores, or illegal fishing in somalian waters are hardly mentioned. Rosalind McLymont told the story of the group of women in one of Uganda’s poorest slums who, when they heard about Hurricane Katrina, broke and sold rocks to raise up to one thousand dollars, and called the american embassy in Uganda to give them the money for the victims. She put this kind of generosity in an asymetric parallel with the “Bono-style notion of aid” manufactured in the west.

What comes after Neoliberalism? was the title of the last pannel of the day, and, even though I was exhausted, I owed it to SANE to attend. First panelist was a member of the Berlin-based Rosa Luxemburg institute. He posited that neoliberalism was “still ruling but not leading anymore” and presented a pretty standard version of the different alternatives we could expect to surge out of the crisis: a public sector new deal, a green deal, the risk of authoritarianism, scandinavian-style Keynesianism etc… To tell the truth, he was not an exciting enough speaker to catch my attention for very long after 7 hours of lecture. But Walden Bello certainly was. He started by emphasizing that the crisis of neoliberalism preceded the financial crisis, that ever since Seattle, the paradigm shift had started to happen and was starting to reach mainstream consciousness–through mass movements but also ruling class intellectuals (Soros Stiglitz Sachs). The financial crisis only confirmed and precipitated the neoliberal crisis of legitimacy. He predicted that the alternative model that was likely to emerge would be a “global social-democrat agenda,” traces of which had already been seen at the G20. The crisis would continue to be blamed on extreme neoliberals, bad apples and some practical mistakes, and everything would be done by states to preserve and salvage the system as a whole. How successful would such a plan be? The methods of the 30s might not be applicable in a society that has, because of thirty years of neoliberal hegemony, lost a lot of the structures needed to implement keynesian reform, and there was always the danger of authoritarianism. Like other speakers, he emphasized that the crisis of neoliberalism was not going to automatically benefit the left. Interestingly, he mentioned Sarkozy as an example of straying towards that kind of authoritarianism: while declaring the end of free-market fundamentalism, the french president was going towards the far right, having co-opted most of the extremist national front electorate (I believe this is far-fetched, though I would love to use that argument against Sarkozy–his anti-immigration, law and order agenda was put in place way before the crisis, it is based on a political discourse that has been circulating in france for years and years, and he certainly hasn’t seemed to tighten his grip recently at all, quite the opposite.)

Walden Bello concluded by calling for a stronger left, that would shift the social-democrat agenda to the center, where it belongs. Other speakers, at the opening plenary and elsewhere, made the same call: when Paul Krugman is depicted as the radical left by the mainstream media, we’ve definitely got a problem. A strong, imaginative, bold, uncensored left should focus on bursting its self-containing bubble to reach the mainstream and build strong public support. A strong civil society is indispensable in a post-neoliberal society.

More tomorrow. It’s really warm in New York.

“An Evolving Piece of Work”: Joe Foley on his role as Vice President, the Nonstop budget, and the Alumni Board’s upcoming challenges.

Joe Foley addresses the Nonstop community for the first time at Community Meeting April 7th

The Record: My first question is for you to introduce yourself, in terms of your experience at Antioch: when did you graduate, what was your major, what was your Antiochian experience, what was your relationship to Antioch since you left?

Joe Foley: I’m Joe Foley and I graduated in ’64 with a B.S., I had a major in philosophy and a minor in math, and my primary interest at that time in my life was documentary film production which I did largely through co-op jobs because there weren’t any real courses on campus related to that. […] I worked a number of times with a documentary film company in DC and Antioch kept wanting me to take a wider variety of jobs and I kept saying but I’m doing a different things there every time so it came out my way as these things tend to at Antioch and it was very good. I also did a stand at a hospital as nurse’s aide and several odds and ends of things. After Antioch I did my graduate work at the University of Iowa, which turned out to be an excellent experience though Iowa city was a place I never thought I would go. And did my graduate work in communication, I was in speech and dramatic art and worked as a teaching assistant and ultimately as an instructor there largely teaching television production and running the instructional television studio that they had on the campus. After that I taught for a year at America University in DC and then went to what I thought was a temporary job at Ohio State University where I ended up staying 25 years. At Ohio State I was teaching some production classes, largely on the television side at that point, some social science research classes dealing with impact of media on audiences, and over the years my interest evolved and I became primarily focused on telecommunication policy things, first amendment issues, media and society issues, and issues that were developing in the 70s, 80s, 90s, as information was becoming a commodity rather than a kind of free good like it had been previously.

When did you become involved with the Alumni Board?

I joined the Alumni Board I think three of four years ago … and had been not particularly involved with the alumni association or with the alumni prior to that time. I certainly was not involved with the political aspects of campus life when I was on campus either.

Did you often come back to campus after you graduated?

Living in Colombus we came over to Yellow Springs a lot, particularly because our kids really liked coming to Yellow Springs, it was a town where they could go do things on their own…we would come to campus sometimes and sometimes come to a campus event but I didn’t have any particular ties with the campus.

You’re the new Vice President of the Alumni Board, how do you envision your role, how are Nancy Crow and you dividing tasks?

That’s very much evolving, and my view-in other organizations I’ve been board vice-president, I’ve been board president-my view is that the vice-president basically does the things that the president asks them to do. And one of the things that’s clearly gonna be part of my role is that I’m much closer to Yellow Springs than Nancy is so I’ll be more likely to be coming over here for meetings and so on.

So are you planning to interact with the Nonstop Community?

I’m certainly open to that; I don’t particularly feel like I need to impose myself on the Nonstop Community, which is clearly an exciting and dynamic and ongoing group. On the other hand if there’s ways I can be helpful, I’m glad to be and there may be some places where I feel I need to interfere and the Nonstop community will also see me in those roles.

And so you’re going to be more involved with the CRF office, is that what you meant by more involved in Yellow Springs?

Well, CRF, Nonstop, ExCil, all the other Cils… Don’t ask me to do a chart of how all the Cils relate to each other ‘cause I don’t know but… [I’ll be] involved in the whole movement for ongoing Antioch. But also that is very much a movement that is being done very well by a lot of very committed people in Yellow Springs who have invested large amounts of energy and creative kinds of problem-solving in making that happen.

What direction is the AB/CRF going to take in the next few months concerning the reintegration of Nonstop after the definitive agreement? What position do you see the AB/CRF taking?

Overall I don’t know that the Alumni Board has a position in the sense of “here is the particular scenario we wanna have played out,” I think that’s going to be an evolving piece of work over the next weeks, months, whatever the time frame turns out to be. The Alumni Board has a primary commitment to reopening an independent Antioch College in Yellow Springs with undergraduate instruction etc… the whole litany. And how we get from where we are now to that point clearly is something that’s going to continue to evolve based on the circumstances as they occur.

What are the next major decisions that the Alumni Board will be confronted with or issues that it will have to tackle?

The next major things I suppose are going to depend on what happens with the Board ProTem fundraising … If it comes out that yes there’s a definitive agreement, yes the Board Pro Tem Project is going forward then there is a whole series of things the Alumni Board has to do to handle the transition to that forward movement. If all of that turns out to be going nowhere then there’s clearly a whole series of other things the Alumni Board is going to be faced with and I don’t think anyone has any idea of how one would respond in that situation. The emphasis has been on what can we do to help increase the likelihood that the Board ProTem Proposal is going to be successful and that we can go forward in that direction.

Nonstop is a project of the CRF and Nonstop is coming to an end in terms of funding on June 30th. What is your position on what should happen after that, or how it should be reintegrated?

It’s not at all clear which of a number of directions that … will go. That’s gonna depend on external things, like what kind of funding if anything is available for various directions, and it’s going to depend on individual decisions from people who have been working with Nonstop. I think it’s certainly likely in a lot of those things that whatever is happening relating to Nonstop in the coming year will be substantially different from what happened this year. But what the parameters of that are, and which things will be different and which things will not be different, I don’t know. As far as I know there’s little likelihood that the funding sources that were available this year are gonna be available after the June 30th time period and that poses some pretty severe challenges to what could be designed going forward. One of the things the [AB] Task Force is looking in and a lot of people are looking in and talking about is what are some ways we can have a viable program going forward that captures the values and energies that Nonstop has had. If there were an easy answer to that everybody would be saying oh yeah there’s the answer, but apparently there’s not an easy answer to that.

At the last AB/CRF meeting we learned that there was a fundraising gap for Nonstop and we weren’t sure that the budget would be paid until June, do you have an update about that?

As of last night’s conference call with the executive committee, it looks like if the expenditures for Nonstop are within or below the budget figures, we’ll be able to reach the end of June in a position that’s ok. If the expenditures for Nonstop are above the budget figures, we have a real problem.

So we are going to be able to meet the budget target?

It looks as though the dollars available will be able to cover the dollars specified in the budget. The challenge is going to be will the expenses be within the dollars comprehended by the budget. It looks like we’re on target for that and but that is never an easy thing to do and the next few months are very critical in making sure that happens. And it’s important obviously ‘cause you can’t pay for things with money that doesn’t exist but it’s also important I think for the Nonstop story going forward; that story is told one way if the fiscal result of Nonstop is amazingly “this whole project was carried off with all these exciting things and was within budget” and that’s one kind of story and it’s a very exciting story, and another story that is not so exciting is “lots of interesting things happened at Nonstop but it really didn’t make any sense fiscally because it was over budget by x amount.” And even if x is a relatively small dollar figure, it really colors the way the story of Nonstop is told into the future. So I think it is very important that we be sure that it comes in with the expenses within the numbers comprehended within the budget.

My last question is how do you envision the upcoming few months?

I think the upcoming few months are going to be very very challenging for everyone. Saying we’re living with a lot of uncertainty certainly doesn’t make the news in Yellow Springs, you can’t imagine a headline saying the future of Antioch college is uncertain as being something anybody thought was a new breaking story, but in fact that is the case. And as the parameters become more apparent as to what that story is going to be, either going forward with the board ProTem or not going forward with the Board ProTem, or deferred judgment on the Board ProTem’s part or whatever the scenario happens to be and there are hundreds of them that could be out there that we all speculate on, then there’s going to be some real adjustments that are going to be made to that scenario.