Michael Goldfarb, a freshman in 1968, writes Antioch’s obituary in the New York Times.
â€œIt was liberalism gone mad,â€ a former professor, Hannah Goldberg, once told me, and she was right. The college seemed to forget the pragmatism that had been a key to its ethos, and tried blindly to extend its mission beyond education to social reform. But there were too many new programs and too little cash reserve to deal with the inevitable growing pains.
Campus radicals attacked the only â€œbourgeoisâ€ target in Yellow Springs, Ohio — the college itself. In 1973, a student strike “destroyed Antiochâ€™s spirit of community,” Goldfarb writes. Enrollment fell by half.
. . . as the student body dwindled, free expression and freedom of thought were crushed under the weight of ultraliberal orthodoxy. By the 1990s the breadth of challenging ideas a student might encounter at Antioch had narrowed, and the college became a place not for education, but for indoctrination. Everyone was on the same page, a little to the left of The Nation in worldview.
Much of this conformist thinking focused on gender politics, and it culminated in the notorious sexual offense prevention policy. Enacted in 1993, the policy dictated that a person needed express permission for each stage in seduction. (â€œMay I touch your breast?â€ â€œMay I remove your bra?â€ And so on.) In two decades students went from being practitioners of free love to prisoners of gender.
On The Quick and the Ed, Kevin Carey explains how non-elite colleges stay in business.