ComCil Committees


Committee Name Meetings Contact:
Budget Committee Birch Kitchen, Wednesday 1:30pm Meli Osanya ’18, Perin Ellsworth-Heller ’17
Communications Committee  Hannah Priscilla Craig ’17
Diversity Committee CSKC, Tuesday 12:30pm Jessica Martinez, Assistant Director of Residence Life and Education
 Elections Committee*  Jennifer Berman, Associate Director of Restorative Practices
Events Committee Birch Kitchen, Wednesday 12:30pm Myrcka Del Rio ’17
Food Committee Isaac Delamatre, Food Service Coordinator
Nominations Committee  Jane Foreman ’17
Record Advisory Board Olive Kettering Library, Tuesday 11am Kijin Higashibaba ’16
Review Committee
 Student Space Committee  Greta Treitsman ’17
Sustainability Committee Tuesday, alternating weeks

*Ad hoc committee

ComCil Committees

More information about ComCil committees, their membership, and functions can be found in ComCil’s bylaws, currently in revision. Or contact the individuals listed above for up to the moment committee information.

On Friday, Antioch independent Once Again

By Diane Chiddister

On Friday, Sept. 4, the keys to Antioch College will be transferred from Antioch University to the Antioch College Continuation Corporation, or ACCC. The action marks the college’s revival after having been closed for a year, and its return, after 30 years as part of a university system, to being an independent liberal arts college.

The public is invited to a recognition of the historic event at around 5 p.m. on the horseshoe on the Antioch College campus. The event will follow several hours of paper-signing by ACCC leaders Lee Morgan and Matthew Derr, who have been vested by the ACCC board with the authority to sign the agreements, and Antioch University Chancellor Toni Murdock and Antioch University Board Chair Art Zucker, who have been vested by the university board with the authority to do so, according to Morgan and Derr in an interview Tuesday evening.

Morgan, Zucker and Great Lakes Colleges Association President Rick Detweiler will speak at the 5 p.m. event, and Antioch professor emeritus Al Denman will give the benediction.

Friday’s closing finalizes an agreement between the university and the ACCC that was made two months ago. While that agreement identified Aug. 31 as the target date for closing the deal for an independent college, the amount of detail involved led to missing that target by a few days, Morgan said. The closing was dependent on the approval of several outside agencies, including the Ohio attorney general, the Greene County probate court and bondholders for Antioch University.

The June 30 agreement followed a year of negotiations in a task force composed of Derr and Morgan, representing the alumni group ACCC, and university trustees Dan Fallon and Jack Merselis. Detweiler served as the mediator for the group.

“There is relief that the year of hard work and focus resulted in an independent Antioch College and a university that has the best possible prospects to thrive,” Derr said. He and Morgan were speaking for the task force, they said.

The revival of the college is a singular event in the history of higher education, Derr and Morgan said.

“Antioch College was one of the top colleges in the country in the late 1960s and it fell on hard times,” Derr said. “Here we are reviving it. There’s never been a story like this in higher education. No one thought we could pull it off.”

The closing follows a two-year Antioch College alumni effort to save the college after the university board voted in 2007 to close the school the following year due to financial exigency.

The alumni effort to create an independent college succeeded because there was “such a broad and diverse group of people who put forth such a level of effort and conviction that the college should survive,” Derr said, describing the effort as a “relay race” in which, when one group of alumni faltered, another took over.

Many college alumni cared deeply about saving the college because they believed they had received a unique education that needed to be available to future generations, especially in an increasingly complex world.

“It’s a simple model but a powerful one,” Morgan said, regarding the Antioch College synthesis of scholarship, self-governance and real-world work experience. “No one else is doing it.”

The ACCC raised $6 million to pay to Antioch University as part of the June 30 agreement, and an additonal $10 million to begin college operations. Leaders anticipate the need to raise about $40 million more in the next several years, Derr has stated. Morgan and Derr were the key fund raisers for the effort.

The role of Detweiler and the GLCA in reaching the agreement was pivotal, Derr said this week.

“We’re very grateful to the GLCA and Rick Detweiler,” Derr said. “Without Rick and the support of the GLCA presidents, this agreement would not have happened.”

After the Labor Day weekend, Derr, who is the chief transition officer for the ACCC, will set up his office in the second floor of the Olive Kettering library on the Antioch campus. His immediate tasks include hiring people to trim the trees, clean the gutters, and other necessary work required to return the physical plant to good shape after having been shuttered a year, he said.

The hiring of the new staff for the college will also continue. ACCC leaders anticipate hiring about 37 faculty and staff, including the staff for Glen Helen. About 10 employees have already been hired, including Antiochiana archivist Scott Sanders and two administrative assistants, Derr said.

In a previous interview, Derr stated that the number of first-year employees will include about five or six faculty members from various disciplines. These faculty, who will be known as Arthur Morgan Fellows, will be responsible for developing programs for a “symposium year” in the college’s first year. ACCC leaders have stated that they do not anticipate having new students on campus until the fall of 2011.

But between the closing of the deal on Friday and the beginning of the newly independent Antioch College on Tuesday, Derr will take a few days off. He has not had a vacation in some time, he said.


Open Letter to the Board Pro Tem, by Lincoln Alpern ’11

Open Letter to The Board Pro Tem
(CC’d to the entire Save Antioch! community)

As I write this letter, there has been no new word on the Definitive Agreements between the Board Pro Tempore of Antioch College and the Board of Trustees of Antioch University. This, to me, is not an issue, as my point revolves more around the end of the ninety-day period which began in January. If the deal falls through, then the rest of this letter becomes moot. If not, however, then my arguments stand, regardless of where we are in the process.

I will begin by inviting my readers to take a trip with me back through time. It’s late in the year 2007. The Alumni Board of Antioch College and the Board of Trustees of Antioch University have come to an agreement in principle that Antioch College will stay open, but donors are balking and many members of the Antioch community (on- and off-campus) have grave misgivings about the way in which the Trustees are moving forward.

Among the biggest of those misgivings: the Trustees’ continued threats to reduce faculty and staff, despite the unpopularity of the idea among Antiochians. (Also, their refusal to recruit first-year students for Fall ’08.)

Now let’s go further back. It’s Reunion, 2007. Mere days ago, the Antioch community heard the announcement of the college’s closing, and people are hopping mad. At Reunion, Antiochians come together in support of Antioch College. They do not support the Board of Trustees’ decision to close the college (especially without consultation with the other stakeholders). They do not support the idea of waiting until 2012 to reopen the college. The time is now, or not at all. Antiochians denounce the Trustees for casting aspersions on and for maltreatment of faculty and staff. Those gathered at Reunion go on record as supporting the staff and faculty of Antioch College.

Fast-forward to April, 2009. The college is closed, but a loyal core of Antioch faculty, staff, students, alumni and villagers remain in Yellow Springs. Over the past two years, they have endured an emotional rollercoaster of optimism building to exuberance … only to descend into disappointment as the latest deal falls through. They have endured being unceremoniously thrown off campus and then out of their new headquarters, and then being put on limited occupancy in their current headquarters. They have endured mistreatment, humiliation, ridicule, near-libelous attacks on their qualifications, broken promises, and horrible neglect (mostly from the Trustees and the University). All this on top of the ordinary stresses of a curriculum for which the descriptor “rigorous” would be a laughable understatement. Over the past six or eight months, they have also endured a process which has more than once been likened to learning how to fly a plane while in the air and while stilll building the plane.

This incredible group of Antiochians has worked diligently for almost two years to keep Antioch College alive, making unbelievably generous sacrifices in terms of money, time, energy, talent, and (very importantly) in terms of future economic solvency. Many have put their very futures and those of their families on the line for the sake of Antioch College. (Toxic culture, my ass.)

But now events are fast approaching a crisis point. The program is on life support, with only two months’ financing left through the Alumni Board-and that only barely-and still no assurance from the Board Pro Tem that they will be funded after the end of June.

The Board Pro Tem has informed this dedicated group of Antiochians that they cannot work with them until after the Definitive Agreements with the Board of Trustees have been signed. The ninety-day period set forth in the Letter of Intent signed by both the Board Pro Tem and the Board of Trustees ends on Saturday, April 25th, 2009.

Now, a legal nit-picker might say “Well, that doesn’t count as a promise. They could still get an extension, or sign the agreements in stages. And even if they do sign the Definitive Agreements on the 25th, the Board Pro Tem has no obligations to start working with the Yellow Springs group right off the bat.” An outside observer might also add “Besides, they’re funded for another few months. They can afford to wait a little longer while the Board Pro Tem works on other things.”

The latter of these two hypothetical characters is dead wrong. The former is correct, but completely misses the point.

No one, especially not faculty or staff, can wait until 11:59 June 30th, let alone until July or August, to hear the good news from the Board Pro Tem. Because until the Board makes a commitment to the faculty, staff and students of Antioch College, there can be no certainty among them that the news will be good.

These Antiochians have pinned their future on that of Antioch College, but they cannot do so for much longer. Sad as it is to say, we live in a society which does not automatically guarantee that people who so selflessly contribute to their communities will receive equivalent compensation in the form of resources they require for survival. With the very real possibility that they will not continue to be funded by Antiochians after the end of June, the faculty and staff have to act now to secure positions elsewhere or risk their livelihoods and those of their families. Some are already moving on.

I don’t have any particular insider information, but by my best guess we have two, maybe three weeks for the Board to make a commitment to faculty and staff. If those two or three weeks elapse and still no commitment, I believe that staff and faculty will leave Antioch en masse.

… And then Antioch College will die.

It is true that (rightly or wrongly) we cannot go forward as a college without legal title to the brand name, the buildings or our accreditation. But these things are ultimately peripheral to what makes a college.

At its heart, a college is a community of learners, an educational and political entity dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and-more importantly-wisdom. A college is a community where people aim to support and educate themselves, each other, and, ultimately, the rest of the world.

For all intents and purposes therefore, we in Yellow Springs are Antioch College, alive and thriving. Look past the name and off-campus structuring, and you will find everything that has made Antioch College the forerunner in the field of higher education. We’re not perfect, but we’re the best there is, and we strive always for a more perfect college, a more perfect world.

But if the Board Pro Tem continues its policy of procrastination, we won’t be much longer.

One of the foremost reasons we fought so hard to separate the college from the university is that we recognized the monstrous injustices the Board of Trustees had committed against the college. We knew that a board which could even consider killing off Antioch had no business running the college under any circumstances.

Well, time is running out. And if Antioch College does die after all, it will not be the University Board that killed it. It will be the Board Pro Tem, for withholding medicine from a dying patient is murder as sure as driving a knife into their heart.

I do not ask the Board Pro Tem to commit to us lock, stock and barrel. I do not advocate a blanket acceptance of every person, structure, and institution associated with Nonstop Antioch. All I am saying is that the Board should (quickly) commit to work with those of us here in Antioch-College-In-All-But-Name as they move forwards toward reopening the campus. Some aspects of the current project will likely have to go, but surely we should be a full party to the decisions of what will be preserved and what negated. (This, as I understand it, was the essential problem with the Agreements in Principle of November 2007. The University understood that they would make a top-down decision about who and what had to go to keep Antioch running, while we assumed that faculty, staff, and other Antiochians would have an equal contribution in making decisions about our own futures.)

Therefore, I call on the Board Pro Tempore within the next ten days to commit (via phone conference or some other venue, as they deem most appropriate) to adopt the suggestions laid out in the “Petition to Support Nonstop” (, and to take immediate steps to implement those principles.

I call on the larger Save Antioch! community to aid us in this endeavor: to sign the petition, write e-mails, and otherwise express their support for this necessary component of a reopened Antioch College. I also respectfully ask them to pledge and/or donate to the College Revival Fund. We cannot reopen the college without significant financial resources, and the more we get, the better off the project will be.

And I beseech you to treasure up in your hearts these my parting words: Be ashamed to let it die. Be ashamed to make it die.

Lincoln Alpern
Antioch College, class of 2011

“The rest is pretty okay”: Concept Paper Response by Gerry Bello ’97:

[From the Editor: On April 1st, 2009, the Concept Paper for an independent Antioch College was released on Read the concept paper here.]

Continue the discussion on the Record’s Forum

At first read of the concept paper I’m skeptical on 2 points. The rest is pretty okay:

1) Three years, 9 terms, 120 credits, 3 co-ops. I don’t think so.

Consider the curriculum I was under: 4 years, 8 terms, 160 credits, 6 co-ops for a BA. 10-35 additional credits for a BS. At that rate you would have to pass every course to graduate on time. First years could only take 15 credits their 1st quarter thus they would have to study over co-op to graduate on time. The result was a really a 5 year school. Which is fine. I did it in 5.5 years but switched majors.

For student under the new program to take essentially the same course load (I think they mean 4 credits per class instead of 5) they will have a course load 25% worse than mine. No thanks. The idea of taking classes online over co-op is a nice idea. We did independant studies over co-op. But I also co-oped in the remotest place in the lower 48. I lived 26 miles from a paved road and 9 miles from a phone.

Similarly quite a few students choose to co-op in places that are remote or lack the infrastructure to support rebust video conferncing or other web-based particiaption. With a focus on sustainibility, many students will be co-oping in places that are rural and lack the energy and information infrastructure to support that sort of thing.

Consider this: Right now, Ct Chen drives to Non-Stop to do some of his computer work because he lives where there is no broadband. He is 2 miles from town. He uses dialup at home.

I also think the number of co-ops is too small.

The program lacks the flexibility for students to change their major and learn and grow. I didnt have the same lifes goals in 1997 that I did in 1991. Antioch changed that. How many people will come to Antioch, discover things they have never heard of, have their lives changed, and be unable to pursue a study of these things due to a vicious schedule.

That and when exactly are you kids expected to engage in community, recreation and sleep with such a schedule? You need your sleep. And your community. I know the grown ups think you dont need your recreation… but hey… what do they know?

2) Depending on my math, $30 mill is either too high or too low. If they just take the number of sq ft of the buildings and multiply by 100 they will have $36.57 million. Are they really going to fully renovate every single inch of every building on campus? Birch has been renovated 3 times in the last 15 years. Does it really need another $4.6 million dollars worth of work? As a contractor I should be salivating…. But what needs the work? I need to look more at what they think they want to do and frankly, the Stanley report is a joke.

However, replacing the power plant could be costly… depending on how much excess capacity is built for sale as an additional revenue stream. Assuming campus only power generation, you are talking a 1MW plant. Assuming campus + village, 6 to 12 MW depending on if you are generating for base or peak power (YS doubles its january electricty consumption in July).

Replacing the power plant must happen no matter what.

Cheap Glitter and Mixed Feelings, Reaction to the Concept Paper by Lincoln Alpern ’11

[From the Editor: On April 1st, 2009, the Concept Paper for an independent Antioch College was released on Read the concept paper here.

[Click here to discuss the Concept paper on the Record’s Forum]

I’ve looked over the Board Pro Tempore’s concept paper a couple times since its release a few days ago, and my feeling are, to say the least, mixed.

I have to admit that it all looks very smart and exciting. In fact, there’s a lot of that stuff that I think I could get on board with. They want to enact more diversity initiatives and make the college more international? Great. Require students to develop a working knowledge of at least one additional language? Sure. The Distinguished Faculty program, with classes taught by alumni and friends of the college? Why not?

The Board is committed to a tenured faculty. That’s good. And though it doesn’t say so in the concept paper, I understand they also want union staff. Also good.

They propose a restoration campaign, and want to make the campus more sustainable. I support them in this too, so long as we take said “restoration” measures to have maximum emphasis on utility and minimum emphasis on glamor. Concentrate on the necessities of running a healthy college in line with our values, not projecting a classy image. I think we can all agree that Antioch College is never going to be luxurious, so let’s not throw desperately needed money away trying to make it look luxurious.

I agree with the Board’s wish to lower tuition. In fact, I would like us to commit to a long-term vision that one day Antioch College will be entirely tuition-free, with grants available for travel for geographically challenged students.

I also support the proposal to have students and faculty contribute a certain amount of work while on-campus, which I’m sure would also be a feature of an eventual tuition-free program. This Spring term at Nonstop we mandated a 4 hour per week work policy for students which-though beset with glitches-has on the whole been a step in the right direction.

However, I feel some of the concept paper’s other ideas give cause for concern. Most importantly: the three-year plan.

Anybody who’s seen my comments on Listen Up Antioch and ACAN knows that I think essentially eliminating break time for all parties involved is a spectacularly bad idea. In an emotionally and intellectually charged atmosphere like Antioch’s, students, faculty and staff need frequent breaks for a little change of pace, not to mention rest and recuperation.

Faculty, in particular need time to perform their own research, so they can stay on top of the latest information in their field and so that they can produce their own innovations, as good Antiochians do. Somebody at that DC area chapter meeting also pointed out that staff need time for building maintenance, and there simply wasn’t enough of it last time we were on trimesters.

Reading over the outlines for the curriculum plan, I can’t help picturing students running a three year educational obstacle course at top speed, with no time to rest, and also no time to pause and reflect. The best learning requires that the student have the opportunity to stop and digest what they’ve learned, subjecting it to critical analysis on the way. That’s what Antioch has always stood for. For this, the student requires time; more than three years, possibly more than four. Heck, let’s go back to being a five-year college, if that’s how long it takes to get the job done properly.

And while utilizing new technology to keep students in touch with the community while out on co-op sounds like a good idea, I can all too easily picture the concept being used to cram more work and obligations onto already overburdened students.

The first time I heard mention of this three-year notion was after the “Visioning a College” weekend at Earlham last year. The way I heard it, the alumni were talking about a five-year program and the organizers basically said “There’s nothing eye-catching about a five-year institution, why not go for a three-year program?”

In other words, the idea first came up as a marketing gimmick. When an institution bearing the name “Antioch College” is reduced to throwing cheap glitter over its program to attract students, I’ll know the Antioch I went to, the Antioch I loved, is well and truly dead.

Wake up, people! This is Antioch. We don’t want the students who are attracted to pretty buildings, or to a curriculum which rushes them through their education without time for any actual learning. Let’s have a curriculum which actually reflects our values of introspection and critical engagement.

One argument for the three-year plan is that it will be helpful in lowering tuition. What if instead we utilized that Antiochian propensity for innovation the Board brags so much about in the concept paper and find another way to keep costs down? Something that does not require such a potentially disastrous setup?

Elsewhere, members of the Board Pro Tem have been quick avoid making any definitive statements about curriculum, because they don’t want to tie the faculty’s hands. I can’t imagine what they thought they were doing with this extremely detailed concept paper, but it can’t’ve been keeping a blank slate.

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage the Board to let the faculty-once (they admit) they have a faculty-develop a workable curriculum, with input from Board members of course, and also of past, present, and prospective students, to insure that the result is something which addresses the needs of all Antioch stakeholders. As I said in my Listen Up and ACAN comments: we don’t need a plan that’s “trendy” or slick. We need a plan that’s right. A plan that’s Antiochian.

Lincoln Alpern

Class of ’11