AAUP and Antioch Spar Over Faculty Hires

November 30, 2010

With the new Antioch College preparing to hire its first faculty members, the American Association of University Professors is reiterating its call for the college to turn to some of those who lost their jobs teaching at the Antioch College that was shuttered by Antioch University. A letter sent by the AAUP to the new college on Monday noted that while the college is correct that it legally is not the same entity that eliminated the faculty jobs, there may be still be obligations to those faculty members. "[T]he new college continues to invoke not only the history and legacy of the old institution and to bear the name and goodwill of the old, but to benefit from many of the tangible assets of the historic Antioch College, including the alumni, the campus and facilities, and the substantial endowment. The faculty of the old Antioch College, including those faculty who were laid off, were at the core of creating and sustaining those assets. Thus we believe that such benefits entail certain continuing responsibilities to those long-standing employees who are qualified for and remain available for positions in the new college -- especially the tenured faculty," says the letter. It goes on to note concern that at least one trustee leader may believe that donors would object to hiring those who were laid off by the university.

Antioch responded with a letter of its own, saying that it would welcome applications from the faculty members who worked for the previous institution, but that it was important to do broad searches to fill the positions. "We are grateful that the American Association of University Professors recognizes that Antioch College is a different legal entity from Antioch University. It is, therefore, inconsistent for the association to support a process of employee 'reinstatement' for those the AAUP asserts were 'laid off' by Antioch University," the college's letter says. "Despite the commitment of its trustees and leadership to the fundamental value of academic tenure, consistent with the AAUP 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, the decision of the college to move forward with a faculty hiring process that both embraces equal opportunity employment practice and fundamentally protects the new institution against charges of discrimination and favoritism in hiring has not, as of yet, met with public support from the AAUP."

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