Current Trustees Demonstrate Poor Judgement in Revising Bylaws

Dear Editors,

As an Oberlin alum of the class of 1984 and a former visiting faculty member, I have always been proud of the democratic governance of the College as set forth in the Finney Compact, which places the faculty as the principal governing authority, both in matters relating to academic substance as well as in relation to broader matters affecting the day-to-day operations of the College. I was deeply disturbed to learn that this is about to change, with the Board of Trustees seizing much greater control as part of actions it plans to take on or around Oct. 6. 

In my view, there is no less qualified nor capable body than the current Trustees, who have demonstrated poor judgment on a number of key matters relating to their fiduciary and moral responsibilities, including, but certainly not limited to, union busting of long-term employees, outsourcing of health services to a religiously-affiliated provider, and the recent litigation with Gibson’s.

Because of this contemplated action, which I presume to be a foregone conclusion under the current regime, I will no longer feel comfortable recommending that my students consider attending Oberlin, nor will I donate to a college that has so devalued its long tradition of meaningful faculty governance. Withdrawing my support for the College makes me deeply sad, but I cannot, in good conscience, do otherwise.


Howard Fredrics, DMA

OC ’84