We, the undersigned, call for the immediate resignation of Antioch University Chancellor Toni Murdock and Board of Trustees Chair Art Zucker.
For the past year, we have watched the negotiations between Antioch University and alumni groups who are dedicated to the future of Antioch College. It is now apparent that Antioch University never had any intent of negotiating in good faith an agreement that met the criteria which united these groups:
- sufficient self-governance of Antioch College, and
- the continuation of all necessary operations at Antioch College (including student recruitment).
Recent comments from Chancellor Murdock have clarified the University’s intent in these negotiations — the University needed the assets of the college to support the other university campuses, and the university desired to emerge with enough capital to continue immediately the expansion of Antioch University.
Prior to the Board’s decision to close Antioch College, there was no warning, communication, nor consultation with the campus community and its alumni. This is a violation of the college’s cherished tradition of shared governance, vital to its reputation and thus to its very life.
In the year since the decision, Antioch University administrators and the Chair of the Board of Trustees have continued to malign the college’s shared governance, academic programs, faculty and students, and have misled and misinformed the public and the news media. The actions and statements of the Chancellor, Board Chairman, and other university administrators have damaged the reputation of the Antioch College program and the education received by its students and alumni. These statements have also damaged the reputation of the faculty and staff of the college.
Under the leadership of Chancellor Murdock and Chairman Zucker, Antioch University has continually and intentionally disregarded alumni support in planning the future of Antioch and the college. The Chancellor treated the alumni with the same disdain that she has given the on-campus community. This treatment of the alumni has damaged (if not destroyed) the ability of Antioch University to raise future funds from the college alumni and its official Alumni Association.
Under the leadership of Chancellor Murdock, Antioch University has abandoned its commitment to the Coretta Scott King Center for Cultural & Intellectual Freedom, contrary to statements that it would not do so. In their cavalier and disrespectful treatment of the CSK Center, Chancellor Murdock and Chair Zucker have demonstrated their disdain for Antioch’s values and legacies, and have shown their lack of integrity and honesty.
Chancellor Murdock’s leadership has been questioned at each of her appointments in Antioch University; twice receiving votes of “No Confidence” from two separate faculties of the university, Antioch University Seattle (2000), and Antioch College (2008).
We the undersigned believe that Chancellor Murdock and Chair Zucker have failed in their stewardship and fiduciary obligations to safeguard the future of the College. We are calling for their immediate resignation from their positions, either voluntarily or by action by board members who recognize the failures of the past and the need for change in leadership.
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