Antioch College, Back from the Dead

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It’s unusual that this happens but from Ohio we have news that one liberal arts college is on the way to teaching again. Antioch College, which closed its doors (kind of) in 2008 due to financial problems and declining enrollment, is back.

According to an article by Audrey Williams June in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

At the heart of discussions about reinventing the iconic liberal-arts institution is the question of how much homage should be paid to the Antioch of old.

For a start-up with a legacy, there is no blank slate. Alumni have contributed significantly to a capital campaign that has put $22 million in the fledgling college’s coffers, and they want to be able to identify with the Antioch that their donations have helped to resurrect.

The practices of “the Antioch of old,” after all, resulted in a financially failing institution.

Antioch’s new president is the very energetic Mark Roosevelt, former Massachusetts legislator, professor of politics at Brandeis University, and most recently the reformist superintendent of the Pittsburgh Public Schools (he’s also the great-grandson of Theodore Roosevelt, oddly enough).

One of the continuing problems Roosevelt faces has to do with professors. Antioch had professors, and many of these people want their old jobs back. But Antioch’s new administrators don’t want to create exactly the same school (known principally for its strident liberalism) again; it’s going to conduct national searches for all positions.

While the new school will retain some of the old one’s character (it’s apparently keeping the famous Antioch co-op program, in which Antioch students perform six quarters of actual work off campus and study on campus for nine quarters), students at the school will have a lot to figure out. There will, at first, be no upperclassmen, no clubs, no activities, and nothing to guide them, except history. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer