May 26, 2008
The Antioch College Contract
Antioch College held its last commencement ceremonies (for a while) this month. The school's Board of Trustees announced in 2007 that it would close this year, with plans to re-open in 2012. More than half of the Antioch College faculty responded with a lawsuit, seeking to prevent the Board from firing them. The Board of Trustees temporarily lifted its threat to shut down the College, allowing a group of faculty and alumni the opportunity to raise necessary funds to keep the place running. When those efforts came up short, the Board re-imposed its (temporary) death sentence.
In May, a group of alumni offered the Board $15.5 million to keep Antioch running ($6.5 million of which would go to other campuses of the Antioch University system). The alumni asked for 10 seats on the 19-seat board in exchange for their offer of cash. The Board refused the offer.
Although the faculty lawsuit cites to various breaches of contractual obligations by the Board, the real Antioch College contract is one that Antioch students make with themselves when they choose to attend a College whose motto was supplied by its first president, Horace Mann: "Be ashamed to die before you win some victory for humanity."
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