Banners, signs, and golden balloons all over Yellow Springs announced the arrival of the Antioch University Board of Trustees last week Wednesday. In addition to the meeting between Trustees and the Alumni Board, around 130 alumni from around the country flocked to campus to await the decision they had been working towards since June: the lifting of the suspension that is scheduled to make the College go dark by July of next year. The weekend, however, ended without a decision.
Resolute and chanting the Antioch community descended upon the Bryan Center last Thursday for the presentation of the alumni business plan to trustees, villagers and Antiochians.
Spirits were high, when alumnus Matthew Derr revealed the $18 million in cash and pledges the alumni have raised to encourage Antioch University to deliver significant autonomy to the college. Continue reading And Then We Wait…
“I feel like it’s absolutely wretched,” commented third year student Rachel Sears, “but I hope it means that they’re considering a yes.” With the announcement on Saturday October 27th that the Board of Trustees’ decision in regards to the future of Antioch College would be delayed, the Community has been, once again, left hovering in uncertainty.
Homecoming weekend, with its flood of alumni—some of them coming from as far as Slovenia—its media momentum, and the yellow decorations extravaganza, had a climactic quality that led many to believe that the decision would come “now or never.” On Saturday afternoon, students, alumni, faculty and staff gathered on the Stoop, expecting an imminent announcement. “Have you heard anything?” echoed back and forth while wild rumors and sophisticated interpretations of alumni board members’ facial expressions went around, and test rounds for the Main Building North Tower Bell made everyone jump. The announcement at the John Bryan Center that no decision would be reached at the end of the weekend, and that trustees would be flying back home that same evening broke the illusion that October 27th would be a historic day. Continue reading Jury Still Out, Courtroom Left Wondering
Research: Kim-Jenna Jurriaans & Brian Springer
“Based on projections of enrollment, if we would have gone beyond the next year, there weren’t going to be more resources to cover expenses.” So says Antioch University CFO Thomas Faecke, in response to the question what his personal reason was to support the suspension of operations at Antioch college in 2008. “There was a fear that the university would become insolvent and that was primarily because of the deficit of the college,” he adds. Presented with this scenario, on June 9th, the vast majority of the members of the University Board of Trustees voted to suspend operations at the 155-year-old college.
“I think in the early 90s, it wouldn’t have occurred to anyone to close the college and keep the university open,” says Ann Filemyr, a former journalism professor, interim Dean of faculty and serving vice president at the college until 2005. “At that time, the college was clearly considered as the center of Antioch University.”
Continue reading The Road to Financial Exigency
The development office of Antioch College has two weeks to raise an additional $8 million that will be readily available by June 2008, in order to convince trustees to lift the suspension of operations at the school that is scheduled for the end of the academic year. This is the benchmark established during a closed meeting held in Denver last week between members of the Board of Trustees and the Alumni Board, said Director of Institutional Advancement Risa Grimes on Wednesday.
“It’s now or never,” Grimes stressed from her new office in the recently reopened Weston Hall on the college campus. According to Grimes, the alumni initiative, thus far, has raised 12 million dollars in cash and pledges, of which $4 million are expected to be liquefiable by the end of the current academic year. This currently leaves the college around $8 million short of achieving the benchmark of $12 million in funds that will become immediately available for spending at the end of the current academic year in June 2008.
Continue reading “It’s Now or Never” Denver Meeting Sets Benchmark: $8 Million More by October 25th
Referendum Issue #2:
Vote in favor of the future of Antioch College as an independent and self-governing institution, no longer under the auspices of Antioch University
Antioch College has maintained a proud tradition of educating progressive voices to counter oppression and to create just and sustainable communities for over 155 years. Antiochian leadership has benefited humanity in profound and transformative ways over the past century and a half, and the world needs Antioch now more than ever. Today Antioch College finds itself at the crossroads of its existence. The dedication and leadership shown by the Antioch College Alumni Association over the past few months is a testament to the possibility for institutional change. In order for the College to survive it must break free from University control.
Over the past several years, the University leadership and Board of Trustees have made decisions which have directly and indirectly damaged the College. Antioch University has removed financial decision-making authority from the College, and forced budget cuts which have reduced faculty, support staff, admissions, and development capabilities. The University imposed a “Renewal” curriculum on the College with minimal consultation with the Antioch College community, and then failed to financially support the drastic changes which it had mandated. The results of these poor business decisions have been exacerbated by the disconnected culture of secrecy under which the Board of Trustees and the University operate, culminating in the shocking decision to suspend Antioch College operations in June 2007.
We question the accuracy of the information used by the Board of Trustees to make its decision to suspend College operations in June, and we believe viable solutions to the College’s financial troubles exist. The Alumni Association and College Faculty are developing promising solutions. Options that were not on the table in June of 2007 now seem viable.
Today we, the students, professional educators, and staff members of the Antioch College community, call for our independence from the detrimental governance of Antioch University. We support the formation of an autonomous College Board of Trustees, no longer under the auspices of Antioch University. We intend to continue building a movement that will realize the full potential of our beloved institution.