August 20, 2010This statement was read during the streamed discussion at the Antioch College Friday Forum on Community.
To the Antioch College Community: An Update on the Tenured Faculty of Antioch College
Last month, thirteen members of the tenured faculty of Antioch College sent a letter to the Board of Trustees Pro Tempore of Antioch College seeking to discuss procedures for the reinstatement of qualified tenured faculty whose professional credentials fit the needs of the new curriculum.
A very brief timeline of relevant history:
June 2007: The Board of Trustees of Antioch University announces its intent to suspend operations at Antioch College.
August 2007: The tenured faculty of Antioch College file an injunctive lawsuit in order to prevent the destruction or sale of the College’s assets (the campus), and to challenge the legality of the College’s closure. The College faculty provide initial financial support for this lawsuit; within the next year the College Revival Fund assumes financial support for this lawsuit.
March 2008: The College Revival Fund, the fundraising arm of the Antioch College Alumni Association, resolves to fund Antioch-in-Exile, a sustained collaboration between the College alumni and the College faculty and community. Foundational planning includes maintaining ExCil (AdCil) and ComCil as governance bodies, and eventually streaming those meetings and Community Meetings to maximize information exchange among stakeholder groups and supporters.
September 2008-June 2009: Antioch-in-Exile, now renamed the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute, collaborates with entities in the Village of Yellow Springs, and continues the educational mission of the College, teaching courses and running free arts and cultural programs. These programs are also designed to bring visiting alums to engage directly with conditions and issues around revival efforts in Yellow Springs.
October 2008: The Nonstop Executive Collective begins a series of requests for dialogue with the newly constituted Board Pro Tempore about the role of the Nonstop Institute and the tenured faculty during an extended transitional period or in a revived College. Promised dialogues do not materialize.
March 2009: The Nonstop community submits a Proposal to the Antioch College Alumni Board outlining ideas for Nonstop’s contributions to the anticipated transitional period. The Alumni Board authors a resolution that includes the following statement:
“…In the hope of strengthening the united movement that has informed the Alumni Board’s creation of three separate entities: one for finance, CRF; one for academics, Nonstop; one for governance, the Board Pro Tem, the Alumni Board establishes a Taskforce to foster collaboration and to build consensus with the representatives of the key stakeholder groups who have played such an important role in our movement to develop an independent Antioch College: Nonstop, the Board Pro Tem, and the Alumni Board. The Taskforce is charged to develop the proposal presented by Nonstop to this Board yesterday [March 6, 2009] for presentation to the Board Pro Tem.”
June-July 2009: The Proposal Taskforce sends a detailed 33-page proposal describing options for the reintegration of the Nonstop community into the revived Antioch College (“Report from the Alumni Board and Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute Task Force to the Board of Trustees Pro Tempore”). To date, no response from the BPT has been forthcoming nor was the Report used as a resource in further planning as publicly stated.
June 2009: The Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute is defunded by the College Revival Fund.
September 2009: The Antioch College Continuation Corporation completes the agreement which formally separates Antioch College from Antioch University.
November 2009: The American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the national organization that defines professional academic values and standards and monitors compliance with these standards, publishes an investigative report analyzing the closing of Antioch College by the Antioch University Board of Trustees. The report concludes that the University’s declaration of financial exigency in order to terminate employees and eliminate tenured positions “remains unsubstantiated.” The AAUP investigators further declare:
“the committee trusts that the Antioch College Continuation Corporation will appreciate the fundamental importance of the tenure system and will offer reinstatement to those whose appointments terminated with the closing, restoring their tenure rights.”
June 2010: The national membership of the AAUP ratifies the report and votes to sanction Antioch University for unprofessional practices and violations of academic freedom.
July 2010: The former tenured faculty of the College send the aforementioned letter to the Board Pro Tempore.
August 2010: The tenured faculty have so far been denied any opportunity to represent their own positions about employment or reinstatement as faculty to the Board Pro Tempore or to the College administration. It is our sincere hope that, given our innumerable and critical contributions to the revival of Antioch College, such a conversation will soon take place.Note: Interim President Matthew Derr responded on 8/20/10 to faculty representatives with information that a delegation of the Board would meet with the Ad Hoc Committee in September; this information was also announced by Derr at the Friday Forum streamed discussion.
–Ad-Hoc Committee of the Tenured Faculty of Antioch College