Friday, May 09, 2008

Antioch Univer-SUE-ty. It can’t run a college but it sure can sue-sue-sue. Guess who the trustees are threatening to sue now?

Just when you think you’ve milked the last there is to milk out of the subject of Antioch University’s high-handed trustees and chancellor, who put a great college out of business after letting it slide to the brink of bankruptcy, the trustees come up with yet another whack-a-doodle legal maneuver to demonstrate that their ineptitude and mindless dudgeon have no bottom.

But first take note that:

•The trustees are already involved in a lawsuit with college faculty in Yellow Springs, Ohio, who were fired despite their tenure. And further...

•The trustees have also threatened some alumni and faculty of Antioch College and Yellow Springs with lawsuits for “trademark infringement,” after those groups founded an organization called Antioch Nonstop to continue teaching college courses that once were taught on the defunct campus. The supporters of Antioch College’s survival coined a slogan, “Be ashamed to let it die,” based on founder Horace Mann’s slogan, “Be ashamed to die until you’ve won some victory for humanity.”

There was unintentional irony in this trustees’ threat of a suit, in the name of “trademark protection.” It came from group that had overseen the college’s financial “failure,” deliberately shut down the college, contributed big time to the destruction of the college’s reputation, and refused millions of dollars in pledges from alumni who wanted to save the college.

The trustees’ lawyer had the gall to write, that use of the name Nonstop Antioch “…is likely to deceive the public with respect to Antioch’s trademarks and associated services and dilute the distinctiveness of the well-known Antioch marks and logos. The unauthorized use of Antioch’s valuable trademarks will cause confusion and improperly benefit you to the detriment of Antioch.”

Valuable trademarks? Valuable as what? Thanks to the trustees and their chancellor, the Antioch name these days is as vauable as an odiferous quart of month-old milk, with flies buzzing around the open container. But I’m getting off the topic here.

Here we go again – another
trustee law suit

On Thursday, the Yellow Springs (Ohio) News revealed that the University is now threatening to sue the Village of Yellow Springs over an air conditioner that is reportedly creating an ongoing noise nuisance to its residential neighbors and that the village says was built without the required permits.

According to the website The Antioch Papers, even the air conditioner’s manufacturer says the unit in question is “not suitable for residential areas.” Oh, and by the way, the trustees are also threatening to sue The Antioch Papers.

Twisted reasoning

You wouldn’t believe the University’s twisted reasoning for refusing to turn off an obnoxiously loud and neighborhood-disrupting air conditioner in an empty college. They make the prima facie insane claim that the Village of Yellow Springs is trying to make the college re-open by suing it to turn off its noisy, code-violating air conditioner.

This mad dog legal defense of an obnoxious machine has been going on for four years! The University seems to lack the money to run a once-great college, but evidently has plenty of dough in its war chest to spend on foaming-at-the-mouth legal trivia concerning illegal air conditioners, “protecting” a trademark that its own actions made worthless, and other nonsense.

Quick, somebody call the
men with butterfly nets

Why is this sounding more and more to me like certifiable insanity? Are the trustees and chancellor suffering a collective mental meltdown?

There ought to be a law requiring Antioch University trustees and their chancellor to pass a mental competency exam. And if they flunk it, they ought to be carted off to the looney bin, which more and more is where they are demonstrating they belong.

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