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The following Antioch College related tidbit was collected by Save Antioch College

YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio – August 23, 2011 – Antioch College is seeking proposals from qualified full-service architectural/engineering firms to develop a campus master plan and provide comprehensive professional architectural/engineering services. Download RFQPDF file icon

College Mission and Vision for Campus Renovation

The mission of Antioch College is to provide a rigorous liberal arts education on the belief that scholarship and life experience are strengthened when linked, that diversity in all its manifestations is a fundamental component of excellence in education, and that authentic social and community engagement is vital for those who strive to win victories for humanity.

Three years after its closure, Antioch College reopens to students with a new curriculum that integrates broad learning across the disciplines with global perspectives on issues of sustainability. Our intent is to provoke critical thinking and a thorough examination of all facets of modern life. This instruction begins with how we use our campus. We are seeking the assistance from a professional group who will help us re-imagine the use of our physical facilities consistent with our vision of reinventing how we live and behave as a learning community.

Background and History

Antioch College was founded in 1850 and opened to its first class in 1853, a time of great social upheaval just before the Civil War. Since its founding, the College has been a pioneering and values-driven secular institution, among the first colleges in the nation to offer equal educational opportunities to women and African-Americans. In the 1920s, the College pioneered the notion of “theory and practice” with its cooperative education program, which integrated full-time work for all students into its core curriculum.

Our physical plant is one of the largest liberal arts educational real estate footprints in the U.S. We own and operate 1,200 acres of contiguous property, which includes thirty-two buildings comprising approximately 600,000 square feet of enclosed space. Our buildings were generally built between 1852 and the 1950s; all are energy inefficient and reflect the typical conditions found on many campuses of our vintage. Our intention is to remodel our building stock so that our carbon footprint is zero to negative. Included in our 1200 acres is an approximate 30 acre open field which we envision as a working organic/biodynamic farm. This acreage should be considered as a critical part of our master plan and also a possible site for a solar farm, which would significantly contribute to lowering our carbon footprint. We seek to find ways to accomplish all this work by being both environmentally sustainable and economically prudent. For example, due to carbon expenditure and financial expense, we would be less likely to knock down an old building in order to build a new one in its place; we seek creative solutions to our space needs.

Scope of Services

The overall goal of this master planning effort will be to assist the College in translating its strategic goals and objectives into a physical plan that identifies where the College should focus its resources to meet future demands on facilities for the next five to ten years. Recommendations for projects and overall guidance for campus growth must be provided no later than December 31, 2011. Once master plan is complete, construction activities should commence as soon as possible.

Scope of Services may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. Development of Campus Master Plan that includes:
    1. Site master plan document
    2. Cost estimating
    3. Recommendations on phasing and scheduling
       
  2. Financial planning with specific attention paid to:
    1. Available historic grants
    2. Joint-venture possibilities
    3. Tax advantages for the private sector and nonprofits
    4. Researching energy efficient incentives
    5. Fund-raising possibilities for the Office of Advancement
    6. Operations analysis

General Qualifications

We seek advice, expertise, design, and construction administration services for the overall task intended and for specific projects, of which there are many, to be defined collaboratively from professionals who have the capacity and documented experience in assignments of this nature.

Specialties may include structural, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical engineers; L.E.E.D. accredited professionals; audio-visual, estimating, interior design, traffic, landscape, and acoustical consultants; and others as needed to fulfill the requirements of the project(s).

We also request competence and documented experience with sustainable science, such as building-integrated photovoltaic and other local renewable energy sources.

Regarding architecture, we are very interested in nontraditional structures that incorporate the poetry of the natural landscape into each building.

It is also our desire to incorporate a continuing care facility into the master plan. The successful firm will help lead the exploration of establishing this facility on campus.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated on a range of criteria, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Previous experience with similar projects and proven management and technical expertise, including specialized experience in sustainable design
  • Demonstrated performance in providing well-organized, accurate, and fully coordinated construction documents
  • Demonstrated ability to meet client project vision, scope, budget, and schedule on previous projects
  • Prior work with institutions of higher education and demonstrated understanding of the unique special needs of residential colleges (housing, classroom, laboratory, recreation).
  • Demonstrated ability to engage appropriate community involvement in an innovative process to develop realistic and timely projects with strong community ownership of the results
  • emonstrated quality of previous projects and client reference checks
  • Description of deliverables and of the process for answering RFI’s and resolving critical issues during construction
  • Overall quality and completeness of proposal
  • Ability to make the undertaking an educational opportunity for our students
  • Qualifications and experience of staff directly involved in this project
  • Proposer’s apparent resources and capacity to meet the needs of this project

Proposal Submission Requirements

The College will provide planning consultants with all materials necessary to develop the physical recommendations (site plans, floor plans, mechanicals, occupancies, etc.)

The College also has condition assessments that provide a base of information on existing facilities and grounds.

In order to be considered for this project interested firms shall submit a cover letter dated and with signature of a representative of the firm authorized to negotiate contracts.

Submit proposals on standard, 8.5 x 11 inch paper. A minimum of 6 copies are required. Proposals must include the following:

  1. Firm information (name, address, phone, fax, email address, web page and a brief company history)
  2. Relevant experience (list of campus master planning and renovation projects for college’s of similar size and scope; detail two master plans of similar scope completed in the last five years; include client contact information)
  3. A reference list of prior client projects of similar size and scope
  4. Overall explanation of team structure, including sub-consultants, plus qualifications and experience of key team members
  5. Approach to master planning projects (philosophy)
  6. Tentative project schedule.
  7. Fee range and approach to establishing fee
  8. Any other pertinent information to the proposed project

 

We will begin accepting submissions immediately. Deadline for submission is September 9, 2011.

Mail to:

Tom Brookey
CFO/COO
Antioch College
One Morgan Place
Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387

A shortlist of firms will be identified and interviews will be held on campus between September 19 and September 26, 2011. The College anticipates a final decision made by September 30, 2011.

 
 
 
The following Antioch College related tidbit was collected by Save Antioch College

YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio – August 11, 2011 – Antioch College will host nationally renowned biodynamic gardener, beekeeper and educator Gunther Hauk August 30-31 for two days of events as part of its new sustainability initiative.

“There is a large and well-developed beekeeping community, as well as strong interest in biodynamic farming, in this area,” said Joyce Morrissey, assistant to President Mark Roosevelt and manager of special projects at the College. “We’re fortunate to have Gunther join us, particularly as we work to expand our own understanding and practices at the College.”

Hauk’s visit comes three weeks before the College will welcome its first class for fall orientation. He will join the public for conversation following the screening of Queen of the Sun at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 30, at Little Art Theatre, 247 Xenia Avenue. Antioch College is hosting the screening; donations of $5-$10 will support beekeeping education at Hauk's Spikenard Farm in Virginia, the Greene County Beekeeping Association (GCBA), and the Antioch College Farm.

Hauk will also deliver a public lecture on beekeeping and issues related to sustainability at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 31, at the Glen Helen Ecology Institute, 405 Corry Street. Members of the GCBA will be on hand with information about local beekeeping classes.

Morrissey organized Hauk’s visit with Antioch College Trustee David Goodman ’69, a principal of North Arrows LLC, which specializes in power and energy investments. Goodman has written and lectured on independent energy project financing, alternative fuels for heavy duty vehicles, green building, and general business matters in his areas of expertise.

Antioch College’s new curriculum includes a series of Global Seminars that allow for interdisciplinary approaches to the examination of issues and ideas surrounding food, water, energy, health and governance. The new Antioch College Farm, situated on the approximately 35-acre former golf course on the southeast side of campus, will be an experiential classroom where students and faculty will search for the inherent interrelationships between conscious stewardship, the use of natural resources, and the resultant impact on the health and vitality of the local and global environment.

About Antioch College
Antioch College is a private, independent nonprofit liberal arts college in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The College curriculum puts equal emphasis on rigorous liberal arts learning, work (cooperative education), and community engagement. Students will complete individualized majors based on one or more of 11 concentrations, a language minor, and six full-time work experiences off campus. The institution, originally founded in 1850, is authorized by the Ohio Board of Regents to grant Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Gariot P. Louima ?
Chief Communications Officer
Office: 937-319-6131
Mobile: 937-581-8201
glouima@antiochcollege.org

 
 
 
11 August 2011 @ 06:15 am
The following Antioch College related tidbit was collected by Save Antioch College

Preparing the ground for incoming students took on new meaning last week at Antioch College, as the revived college launched the Antioch College Farm, its first major sustainability project. Located steps from the classroom, the farm is envisioned by organizers as a significant aspect of campus life, where students not only produce food and compost scraps, but also incorporate their learning about environmental sustainability into classes ranging from chemistry to philosophy.

On Friday the college announced that Glen Helen Director Nick Boutis will also serve as the coordinator of the college’s sustainability projects, including the farm. In an interview Friday, Boutis said that the college’s unique position as newly regenerated after having been closed actually offers an advantage over other schools that have incorporated farms into their operation.

“Most colleges can’t integrate the farm into their campus from the get-go, but we can,” said Boutis. “If we do this wisely, we can figure out how the farm interacts with the facilities, the curriculum and the community. I think it’s incredibly exciting and one of the things that Antioch intends to do moving forward.”

The college took a significant step toward getting the farm up and running with the recent hiring of local organic farmer Kat Christen, who will help to design and implement the first phase of the farm project. As well as running Smaller Footprint Farms with her husband, Christen brings to the job five years experience with environmental education. She worked as an urban naturalist for the Five Rivers MetroParks in Dayton, and also has a bachelors in life science education and a minor in plant biology from Ohio University.

“It’s an exciting project, an opportunity to make something great happen for the college and the community,” Christen said in an interview this week.

Because “growing food is one of the most basic ways we connect with the earth,” growing healthy food with sustainable practices is one of the most meaningful ways that people learn the value of environmental sustainability, she believes.

Sustainability was identified as a major focus of the revived college in President Mark Roosevelt’s June State of the College address. In an interview this week, Roosevelt said that focus has evolved from a variety of factors, including the interest of the college board, and specifically board member David Goodman, and Roosevelt’s own experience in the college’s admissions process last spring, as he learned about prospective students.

“I was affected hugely by seeing how the students are already driven by this issue, and how they see its connection to social justice,” he said.

Identifying himself as still learning about the topic, Roosevelt said he’s become increasingly passionate about sustainability concerns in the six months since he began his presidency.

“I’ve had my own education. It’s been dramatic,” Roosevelt said.

Other colleges, such as Middlebury and Sewanee, offer a sustainability focus, and college leaders are still determining what Antioch’s specific niche will be, Roosevelt said, stating that because Antioch is located in the Midwest, that niche will likely be food production.

Along with Boutis and Christen, a new farm committee composed of faculty and staff has begun meeting regularly to identify ways to incorporate the farm into campus operations.

“Students should be able to pull a vegetable out of the ground, cook with it, take the compost back to the garden and then study the results in chemistry class,” Boutis said of some of the ways the college will integrate the farm experience into campus life.

The farm committee is composed of assistant professors David Kammler (chemistry) and Lewis Trelawny-Cassity (philosophy); Dean of Community Life Louise Smith; facilities representative Ronnie Hampton; adminstrative representative Joyce Morrisey; and Boutis, Brooke Bryan and Ann Simonson of Glen Helen.

Located on the 35-acre former “golf course” on campus, the farm will be a “working laboratory that provides the opportunity for active participation in learning, experimenting and applying best management practices in organic and ecological agriculture methods,” according to a college press release. Lessons learned in the fields will likely become fodder for the college’s new Global Seminars that offer students interdisciplinary approaches to the study of issues around food, water, governance, health and energy.

While the first quarter Global Seminar will focus on water, food will likely be emphasized in winter or spring, according to Trelawny-Cassity. Questions regarding how citizens should spend their time, how food should be produced and distributed are “inherently philosophical” and go back to Plato, he said.

“The farm is an interesting experiment in community and local food production. These are issues of political economy,” he said.

Along with its ability to incorporate the farm into many segments of campus life, Antioch has other advantages compared to some colleges regarding integration of the farm as an educational experience, according to Boutis. First, it will be located on campus, rather than several miles away. And while some schools struggle with aligning their students’ calendar years with a farm’s growing season, Antioch’s first class of students will have a spring campus-based co-op, when farm needs are high, and will also be on campus during their first summer.

“We have some options other schools don’t have regarding the growing season,” Boutis said.

In the first weeks of her job designing the new farm project, Christen is focusing on tilling areas in the former golf course where fall crops — including swiss chard, onions, carrots and beets — will be planted, and planting those areas with the cover crops of buckwheat and red clover that will enrich the soil when they break down.

She’s also building no-till beds in the former Antioch College garden area that, because it’s been untended for several years, is very overgrown. That area will be part of a “food forest” of food-producing trees and shrubs, including wild plums, pecans and pawpaws, Christen said.

Other steps getting the farm up and running include the building of “chicken tractors” for containing the chickens that will be used for eggs, meat and manure, along with fences built from the locust trees that have grown in the area.

The farm will likely include animals other than chickens eventually, and the second species may well be bees, Boutis said. Toward that end, Gunter Hauk of Virginia, a leading biodynamic farmer and beekeeper, will visit campus the end of August for two days of residency with faculty and staff. His visit will also include the screening of a film shown at the Little Art on Aug. 30 and a public talk on Aug. 31.

 
 
 
The following Antioch College related tidbit was collected by Save Antioch College

YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio – August 5, 2011 – Antioch College alumna Judith G. Voet ’63 will be one of 12 recipients of the next American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual award, the society announced.

Voet, the J.H. Hammons Professor Emerita of Chemistry at Swarthmore College, will share the ASBMB Award for Exemplary Contributions to Education with her husband, Donald Voet, an associate professor of chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. They will give an award talk at the society's annual meeting April 21-25 in San Diego.

The Voets have made significant contributions to the teaching of biochemistry and molecular biology through their writing. Together, they have authored the comprehensive textbook Biochemistry, a 1,782-page one-stop source of current knowledge about biochemistry and molecular biology; co-authored Fundamentals of Biochemistry, a textbook that has been translated into nine languages; and co-edited the educational journal Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education.

Judith Voet has been an active supporter of the Antioch College revival. She served on the Presidential Search Committee that selected Mark Roosevelt as Antioch College’s newest president; is a member of the Science Advisory Committee that helped to draft the science curriculum; and participated in the chemistry faculty search.

After earning a B.S. at Antioch College, Voet earned a Ph.D. at Brandeis University. She participated in postdoctoral research at the University of Pennsylvania, Haverford College, and the Fox Chase Cancer Center before securing her faculty position at Swarthmore in 1979.

Her service to the biochemistry education community includes membership in the ASBMB Education and Professional Development Committee (1995-2005) and service as an elected council member in the American Chemical Society's Biochemistry Division (1993-2004).

Letters in support of the joint nomination for the ASBMB award came from peers in biochemistry education, such as Harold B. White, a professor of biochemistry and director of the Howard Hughes Undergraduate Program at the University of Delaware, and fellow Antioch alumna Joan Steitz ’63, Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at the Yale School of Medicine.

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization with more than 12,000 members worldwide. Most members teach and conduct research at colleges and universities. Others conduct research in various government laboratories, at nonprofit research institutions and in industry. The Society's student members attend undergraduate or graduate institutions. For more information about ASBMB, visit www.asbmb.org.

About Antioch College
Antioch College is a private, independent nonprofit liberal arts college in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The College curriculum puts emphasis on rigorous liberal arts learning, work (cooperative education), and community engagement. Students will complete individualized majors based on one or more of 11 concentrations, a language minor, and six full-time work experiences off campus. The institution, originally founded in 1850, is authorized by the Ohio Board of Regents to grant Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Gariot P. Louima ?
Chief Communications Officer
Office: 937-319-6131
Mobile: 937-581-8201
glouima@antiochcollege.org

 
 
 
04 August 2011 @ 06:00 am
The following Antioch College related tidbit was collected by Save Antioch College

Antioch College recently announced that it has launched its first major sustainability project, the Antioch College Farm, to be located on the former college “golf course” and former campus garden. Glen Helen Director Nick Boutis will coordinate the college’s sustainability efforts, including the farm, and organic farmer Kat Christen has been hired to design the first phase of the project.

In June, Antioch College President Mark Roosevelt announced that sustainability will be a major focus of the new college.

A committee of faculty and staff are meeting to explore ways to integrate the farm into the life of the campus. Organizers envision the farm as providing not only opportunities for students to grow fruits and vegetables and learn sustainability practices, but also to provide learning that could be incorporated into a range of classes, from chemistry to philosophy.

And the college’s unique position of regenerating itself after being closed puts it at an advantage regarding the new project, according to Boutis in a recent interview.

“Most colleges can’t integrate the farm into their campus from the get-go but we can,” he said. “If we do this wisely, we can figure out how the farm interacts with the facilities, the curriculum and the community. I think it’s incredibly exciting and one of the things that Antioch intends to do moving forward.”

See the Aug, 4 Yellow Springs News for a more detailed article on the Antioch College farm.

 
 
 
The following Antioch College related tidbit was collected by Save Antioch College

YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio – July 29, 2011 – The Glen Helen Ecology Institute has begun to coordinate Antioch College’s sustainability initiatives and is seeking volunteers to help in the launch of the first major sustainability project: the Antioch College Farm.

"The College Farm will not only be a food source but also an integral part of the curriculum and student experience," said Nick Boutis, director of Glen Helen and coordinator of College sustainability initiatives.

Antioch College’s new curriculum includes a series of Global Seminars that allow for interdisciplinary approaches to the examination of issues and ideas surrounding water, food, governance, health, and energy. The Farm will be an experiential classroom where students and faculty will search for the inherent interrelationships between conscious stewardship, the use of natural resources, and the resultant impact on the health and vitality of the local and global environment.

Situated on the approximately 35-acre former golf course on the southeast side of campus, the Antioch College Farm will be a working laboratory that provides the opportunity for active participation in learning, experimenting, and applying best management practices in organic and ecological agriculture methods.

The College has hired local farmer Kat Christen (photographed) to design and implement the first phase of the project. Christen and her husband, Doug, operate Smaller Footprint Farms, a small, diversified CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm just outside of Yellow Springs.

Christen, who has a degree in life science education with a minor in plant biology, has worked as an urban naturalist for Five Rivers MetroParks in Dayton. SHe is also the founder of City Beets, a summer program designed to create active youth leaders through the process of growing, sharing, and selling food.

Working with volunteers, Christen will clean up the old community gardens, establish new annual beds with sheet mulching, prep the new food forest area, and plant fall crops and perennials.

Volunteers interested in working on the Antioch College Farm can drop in every Tuesday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. through August. There are some shaded work areas. Please bring your work gloves and water. All ages and experience levels welcome. Volunteers are also needed this fall to construct raised beds and to feed chickens on Saturdays and Sundays.

Questions? Weather check? Call Kat Christen at 937-477-8654 or e-mail smallerfootprint@yahoo.com for more info.

About Antioch College
Antioch College is a private, independent nonprofit liberal arts college in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The College curriculum puts equal emphasis on rigorous liberal arts learning, work (cooperative education), and community engagement. Students will complete individualized majors based on one or more of 11 concentrations, a language minor, and six full-time work experiences off campus. The institution, originally founded in 1850, is authorized by the Ohio Board of Regents to grant Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Gariot P. Louima ?
Chief Communications Officer
Office: 937-319-6131
Mobile: 937-581-8201
glouima@antiochcollege.org

 
 
 
The following Antioch College related tidbit was collected by Save Antioch College

This week Antioch College leaders announced that they had hired the sixth, and last, of the college’s first year tenure-track faculty members. Based on the recommendation of the search committee, Antioch College President Mark Roosevelt hired Anneria Coria-Navis as assistant professor of Spanish.

Coria-Navia comes to the position after a decade of teaching Spanish in both k-12 and college-level classes, and two decades of teaching music education in the U.S. and abroad. Most recently, she has taught a beginning Spanish class, Spanish for Health Professionals, at Kettering College, and she also teaches beginner and intermediate-level Spanish at Wright State, where she also serves as a faculty supervisor in the Teacher Education Program.

Coria-Navia has taught Spanish at the Redlands Adventist Academy in Redlands, Cal., and at St. Mary’s Catholis School in Ann Arbor, Mich. She has taught music education at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich., Lake Michigan
College and the Universidad Adventista de Montemorelos.

 

She is the final tenure-track faculty member hired for the revived college’s first year. Previously, faculty have been hired in the fields of cultural anthropology, philosophy, literature, chemistry and art.

 

C

 
 
 
The following Antioch College related tidbit was collected by Save Antioch College

YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio – July 12, 2011 – Based on the recommendation of a search committee, Antioch College President Mark Roosevelt has hired Anneris Coria-Navia as an assistant professor of Spanish.

Coria-Navia’s experience includes a decade of K-12 and college-level Spanish instruction, as well as two decades of music education in the U.S. and abroad. Currently, she teaches a beginning Spanish class, Spanish for Health Professionals, and a music appreciation class at Kettering College. Additionally, she teaches beginner- and intermediate-level Spanish classes at Wright State University, where she also serves as a faculty supervisor in the Teacher Education Program.

Previously, she taught a variety of Spanish courses, including Advanced Placement Spanish, at the Redlands Adventist Academy in Redlands, California, and at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. During her time at Redlands, she also developed a cross-age teaching program that prepared second- and third-year Spanish students to teach at the elementary level.

As a music educator, Coria-Navia has also taught courses in appreciation and performance at Andrews University, Lake Michigan College, the Universidad Adventista de Montemorelos, and in elementary, middle and high school settings.

Coria-Navia earned a B.M. in piano performance and music education from the Universidad Adventista del Plata in Entre Ríos, Argentina. She earned her M.M. in music education and an M.A. in education at Andrews University. She completed her doctorate in education leadership at the University of Southern California and, finally, an M.A. in Spanish from Miami University in Oxford.

Submitted in 2010, Coria-Navia’s master’s thesis reports on the analysis of audio recordings of conversations with twelve subjects from Ohio and California to determine the frequency and characteristics of code switching within a given time-frame. Her doctoral research, submitted in 2005, examined the effect of social relationships in work satisfaction among beginning elementary school teachers.

Coria-Navia is the sixth and final tenure-track professor hired at Antioch College this year. Professors of anthropology, chemistry, literature, philosophy, and 3-D art were also hired based on the recommendation of search committees, which were comprised of former faculty, emeriti faculty, and alumni and friends of the college who are subject-matter experts or serve as members of faculty at other liberal arts colleges.

Candidates for faculty positions are assessed on their subject-matter expertise; ability to teach their subjects; ability to interact with students, faculty colleagues and community members; ability to collaborate effectively; knowledge of and comfort with the three C's of classroom, co-op and community; and their interpersonal style and ability to engage in effective discussion. All finalists for faculty positions visit the campus in Yellow Springs for a day of interviews and meetings with college personnel.

About Antioch College

A private, independent nonprofit liberal arts college in Yellow Springs, Ohio, Antioch College will offer a four-year, undergraduate residential experience to a new class of students beginning in the fall of 2011. The College curriculum puts equal emphasis on rigorous liberal arts learning, work (cooperative education), and community engagement. Students will complete individualized majors based on one of 11 concentrations, a language minor, and six full-time work experiences. The institution, originally founded in 1850, is now completely independent of Antioch University, the multi-campus system it founded.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Gariot P. Louima ?
Chief Communications Officer
Office: 937-319-6131
Mobile: 937-581-8201
glouima@antiochcollege.org

 
 
 
07 July 2011 @ 06:00 am
The following Antioch College related tidbit was collected by Save Antioch College
Louise Smith was recently named dean of community life by administrators of the revived Antioch College. (Photo by Diane Chiddister)

Louise Smith was recently named dean of community life by administrators of the revived Antioch College. (Photo by Diane Chiddister)

On June 22 Antioch College President Mark Roosevelt announced that former college theater professor Louise Smith has been hired as the college’s new dean of community life. In her position Smith will report to the president and serve on the college’s senior leadership team.

“This is a critical, central job for the college as we move forward,” Roosevelt said in a press release. “We found the right person with the right set of skills to do this work. I’m so pleased to be welcoming Louise back to Antioch College.”

The new position “is a crucial one,” Smith wrote in an e-mail this week. “Along with really walking the talk of fostering a healthy community life on campus, what it also needs to do is strengthen the bridge between campus and Yellow Springs in ways that are deep and enduring. The name of the poisition reflects the desire on the part of the college to be inclusive, to think about community in its broadest sense.”

Regarding her appointment, “I have been overwhelmed by the expression of support I have received in both the Yellow Springs and the Antioch communities. I am honored and a little bit terrified at the expectations and needs the position carries with it,” Smith wrote in the e-mail. “ I feel extremely grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to the shaping of the new college and its relationship to the village. I am also aware of all of the hard work that has been done by my colleagues in the college and at Nonstop. I want to honor everyone’s efforts: faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, villagers — by moving forward in the best ways possible.”

The position is equivalent to a dean of student affairs position, although “the shift to community life in the title signifies the importance of community building” at Antioch, according to Hassan Rahmanian, the college’s vice president for academic affairs. “This position is broader and deeper than the traditional one.”

“I’m very excited” that Smith was chosen for the job, Rahmanian said, citing her history with Antioch College before it was closed in 2008. A 1977 graduate of the college, she later came back as theater professor, then chair of the theater department, then associate dean of faculty.

“In all of those positions, she proved a successful leader,” Rahmanian said, citing Smith’s tendency to be “very fair and very firm” and to express herself directly regardless of the popularity of her position.

“She speaks the truth and the community appreciates that,” he said.

About 60 candidates applied for the job, Rahmanian said, describing the process as an effective one with a “strong pool of candidates.”

Ultimately, he said, Smith rose to the top due to her deep knowledge of the college and her personal skills and strengths, including her “insights about community, her leadership skills and skills in listening, her ability to form community and her creativity.”

An actor and performance artist, Smith after graduating from Antioch in 1977 worked in New York, touring nationally with Julie Taymor, Ping Chong and Company, Meredith Monk and Illusion Theater, among others. She won an Obie Award in 2003 for her performance in “A Painted Snake in a Painted Chair.”

Smith returned to Antioch as theater professor in 1994, a position she held until the college was closed in 2008. She holds a masters in playwriting from Antioch University and a masters in community counseling, with licensure from the University of Dayton. After the college closed, Smith worked in mental health in the Dayton area.

“It means a great deal to me to do this job well,” Smith wrote this week. “I bring an interest in making things lively and fun.”

Tenure-track professors hired

This week the college also announced that it has filled the fourth and fifth of its six tenure-track positions, with the hiring of Chicago artist Sara Black as the new assistant professor of 3-D art, and Geneva Gano as assistant professor of literature.

For the past five years Black has taught in the performance and sculpture departments at Northwestern University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Previously, she taught beginning, intermediate and figure drawing at South Suburban College, led an arts apprenticeship program at the nonprofit Street-Level Youth in Chicago, and taught 3-D visual language and experimental design at the University of Chicago and Illinois Institute of Technology.

Black’s solo and collaborative exhibits have been featured at a variety of spaces, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Experimental Station, Gallery 400, the Hyde Park Art Center, and the Park Avenue Armory.

She holds a masters of fine arts from the University of Chicago, a bachelors in environmental studies and art from Evergreen State College and a bachelors of fine arts in sculpture and painting from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire.

Gano was most recently a visiting assistant professor of American Studies and Latino Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington. Her teaching and research has focused on 19th- and 20th-century American literature and culture; Chicana/o literature and film; and GLBTQ and gender studies, among other topics.

Before Indiana University, Gano was a lecturer in the Department of English at UCLA and a postdoctoral teaching fellow at Stanford University.

She earned a bachelors in English, with honors, at Stanford, and a masters and PhD at UCLA. She is currently expanding and revising her dissertation for publication as Un-American Places: Geography, Race and Nationalism in Modern Literature.

The college has previously filled the tenure-track positions in chemistry, philosophy and cultural anthropology, and has one more position, in Spanish, to fill.

 

 
 
 
The following Antioch College related tidbit was collected by Save Antioch College

The revived Antioch College needs to articulate a powerful sense of mission, both to attract students and to attract major funding sources, according to President Mark Roosevelt at last Friday’s State of the College address, which took place during the annual college alumni reunion. And for the next several years, he sees developing that mission as his priority.

“What I owe you is to use the next three years to create that compelling story,” Roosevelt said to an overflow crowd of several hundred people at McGregor 113 on campus.

The college is not yet ready to apply for grants from major foundations, Roosevelt said, stating it will take more time for the college to identify and define its unique purpose.

“We have to know who we are deeply,” he said. “It’s the mission that will drive the dollars.”

In the meantime, he said, the alumni need to financially support the college. And he announced that the college’s 14-member board of trustees — formerly called the board pro tempore — has pledged $9 million to Antioch College over the next three years.

“These are people digging very deeply because of how much they love this college,” he said. “It’s a huge, huge step for the college.”

The $9 million is a significant step toward filling the college’s budget gap of $17 million over the next three years, Roosevelt said. Overall, in that time the college projects $27 million in expenses, with revenues of about $4.5 million from endowment income and $5.4 million from the annual fund, for a total of about $10 million in revenues.

Donations must provide the remaining $8 million, Roosevelt said.

“This is a great challenge to the rest of us,” he said of the board’s pledge. “The rest is doable. This task is daunting but doable.”

Sustainability focus

Environmental sustainability will be a focus of the revived college, Roosevelt said, stating that sustainability resonates with the college’s historic emphasis on social justice because the world’s poor are those suffering most from the environmental crisis.

“We older folks have to be sensitive because believe me, young people see a commitment to sustainability as a profound social justice issue,” he said, citing the large percentage of new Antioch College students who have already worked on organic farms or had other relevant experience.

Because the college is located in the Midwestern farmbelt, food will be one area of emphasis, he said, citing statistics that place the United States among third-world countries in terms of life expectancy of the poor, who have less access to healthy food.

“We begin with this premise: The way we live in America today is not sustainable. Antioch College must become a laboratory to discover better ways of living,” Roosevelt said.

The college also “needs to be much tougher on ourselves regarding living sustainably here,” Roosevelt said, stating that the college will be in a position to address this need within four to six months.

Along with a focus on sustainability, the new college will include a required core curriculum, individualized majors, global seminars that focus on issues related to food, water, energy and public policy, and an emphasis on language acquisition and competence in writing. The college’s historic three-pronged educational model of academics, work experience and community governance will be the structure that will hold these components, he said.

Against the grain

Fundamental to defining the college’s mission is answering the questions, “Who are we? Why is this worth doing?” Roosevelt said, stating that, “We’re going against the grain of almost everything in this country today.”

Most liberal arts colleges are struggling, and many have closed in recent decades.

“Nobody is starting a liberal arts college,” he said.

But the world’s problems are huge and complex, and solving them will require the sort of creative and critical thinking that students learn best in liberal arts colleges, he said.

“Liberal arts colleges produce a phenomenal number of leaders,” according to Roosevelt.

These colleges are expensive to maintain because they’re based on a model of intimacy, including small classes with high quality teaching, he said. And in recent years, leading liberal arts colleges have begun offering substantially more financial aid to students, a trend that Roosevelt believes will only increase, so that a tuition-based model of financial stability will become obsolete. Rather, he said, the colleges that will prosper will be those with the largest endowments.

“The rich are getting richer and everyone else is struggling,” he said, comparing the landscape in higher education with other aspects of American life.

Regarding economic stability at Antioch College, which has a small endowment compared to most colleges, “We have to be extremely creative,” he said. “Even if we decided to do business the way we’ve always done it, that’s not an option.”

Thus, he said, it’s critical that the college articulate a vision that both draws students and financial support from donors and large funding sources, such as foundations.

“My commitment to you,” Roosevelt said to the alumni, is when they return to campus in three to five years, “you will be on the campus of one of America’s great liberal arts colleges.”

Alumni questions

Following Roosevelt’s presentation, alumni asked questions regarding the revived college’s relationship to the arts, community governance, and its relationship with former tenured faculty, among other topics.

Regarding the role of the arts in the new college, Roosevelt said, “The arts is a significant part of the equation.” One of the first six tenure-track positions will be in the arts, and while a choice on the recipient of that position has been made, the name of the new faculty member had not yet been made public. This week, the college announced that sculpture and performance artist Sara Black of Chicago will fill the position.

Alum Mark Greenfield of New York City expressed his disappointment that the college has not rehired former faculty, and that several former Nonstop students who applied were not accepted for the college’s first class next fall. Regarding Roosevelt’s statement that the college needs to do a better job retaining students than in the past, “When you talk about retention and don’t retain the faculty that’s already here and the students that are already here, it’s hard to trust,” Greenfield said.

Regarding the situation with former faculty, “One of the most difficult things has been balancing multiple points of view,” Roosevelt said. “There have been some incredibly difficult decisions,” including the decision to conduct national searches for its first tenure-track faculty members. None of the tenure-track faculty members hired have been former Antioch tenured faculty.

But some former faculty, such as new Vice President for Academic Affairs Hassan Rahmanian and Director of Work Susan Ecklund-Leen, have been hired in new positions. Regarding the balance of new hires and former faculty overall, “It’s a balance we’ve tried to do with respect,” Roosevelt said.

Roosevelt announced that Reggie Stratton, formerly facilities director at Creative Memories in Yellow Springs, has been named the college’s new facilities manager. The college will soon announce its remaining two tenure-track faculty members, he said, and searches for a dean of community life and director of admissions are ongoing.