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New Antioch College pro tem board members named

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The Antioch College Alumni Board recently named three new members of the pro tem board for an independent Antioch College. The three new board members, Terry Herndon of Massachusetts, Rozell Nesbitt of Chicago and Edward Richard of California, join already named pro tem board members Lee Morgan, Matthew Derr, Barbara Winslow, Frances Degen Horowitz and Atis Folkmanis.

While the alumni board is naming a board in the event that task force conversations are successful in creating a letter of intent to separate the college from Antioch University, the task force has yet to reach agreement.

Alumni Board President Nancy Crow stated recently that she feels hopeful that an agreement will be reached.

“I remain optimistic that we will have a plan for the transfer of the college,” Crow said in a recent interview. “I’m excited about the people who have agreed to be on the board.”

The university trustees’ next regular meeting is Oct. 23–25 in Seattle, and alumni hope that the task force will have a letter of intent to present to the trustees by that time, Crow said.

The pro tem board members and Great Lakes Colleges Association, or GLCA, are sponsoring an “Invent a College” workshop on Oct. 3–4 in order to help envision what an independent Antioch will be, Crow said.

“The workshop will help to coalesce our efforts and develop our plans going forward,” Crow said.

The event, which will include invited members of several stakeholder groups, including college students, faculty and alumni, will meet at Earlham College in Richmond, Ind.

The four task force members — alumni representatives Lee Morgan and Matthew Derr and trustees Dan Fallon and Jack Merselis — are deeply engaged in the process of trying to create a process for creating an independent Antioch College, according to Rick Detweiler, president of the GLCA, who is serving as spokesperson and honest broker for the task force.

“Not a day goes by without substantive communication” between task force members, whether that communication is via e-mail, phone or in person, Detweiler said. “This is a part of the daily life of all task force members. There is a great sense of urgency.”

While some task force members initially hoped for a letter of intent by the beginning of September, the complexity of the task has necessitated that the process take longer, Detweiler said.

“At this point in history, the university is a single entity with various components that operates under state and federal laws and regulations,” he said. “Pulling the pieces apart is truly complicated. We’re working through how you create an agreement that ensures the success of both the college and the university.”

The task force is working with financial and legal counsel that is offering advice on the challenges faced by the group, Detweiler said, likening the process to an operation to separate Siamese twins.

“They have separate brains but share lots of internal organs,” he said. “You can’t just take a knife and slice it down the middle. You have to separate in a way that gives life to both.”

The task force has met since the beginning of July in response to a resolution passed by the trustees at their June meeting that called on the alumni board to create a process and a plan for an independent Antioch College. That resolution followed two lengthy and complex failed attempts by the alumni to create an independent college following the trustees’ decision, a year ago, to close the college for financial reasons.

The new pro tem board members include Herndon, ‘57, an engineer and artist who founded two medical device companies and, with his wife, Eva, helped spearhead the renovation of South Hall on the Antioch College campus. The restored building includes the Herndon Gallery, named in their honor. Herndon is a former Antioch trustee and was a member of the Antioch College Continuation Corporation, or AC3.

Nesbitt, ‘67, is a human rights activist, speaker and educator on Africa, foreign policy and racism. He was a special aide to former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and worked for the Institute for Policy Studies and the John D. and Katherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Currently, he is a consultant on diversity for the Francis W. Parker School and the University of Chicago Laboratory schools and the senior multiculturalism and diversity specialist at the Chicago Teachers Center and Northeastern Illinois University.

Richard, ‘59, is president and trustee of the Edward H. Richard Foundation. He is a retired member of the La Jolla Playhouse Board of Trustees in La Jolla, Calif., and a member of the board of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. He served several terms as treasurer and trustee of Antioch University, and is now president of a privately owned real estate investment firm.


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