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Under financial stress, Oberlin College seeks to end unionized custodial and dining hall services

Under financial stress, Oberlin College seeks to end unionized custodial and dining hall services

Will woke students, faculty and staff react to this union-busting with the same outrage and aggressiveness as was directed at Gibson’s Bakery for having the temerity to stop a student from shoplifting?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fcr005iK2wY

Oberlin College has been under financial stress for a number of years, in part the result of problems filling incoming classes. for the tuition-dependent school. There have been cutbacks in many areas of the campus, including faculty.

Oberlin College is rated as financially sound by bond rating agency Moody’s, but the outlook was downgraded to negative in 2018.

The financial impact of the Gibson’s Bakery loss is not yet clear. It will be interesting to see if the negative publicity impacts the incoming class, and how much in grant money needs to be spent to maintain quality and quantity. But clearly Oberlin College has suffered a public relations body blow from the case.

The seriousness of the situation is further revealed in a campus announcement that Oberlin College will seek to replace UAW union workers in the dining hall and custodial services with outsourced contractors.

Here is a mass email just sent by Oberlin College President Carmen Twillie Amber (emphasis added):

Over the last two years we have taken a number of essential steps together to ensure that we continue to fulfill our distinctive mission as a leading liberal arts college and conservatory of music: namely, educating our students for lives of meaning.

Our efforts have made possible strategic investments and have required shared sacrifices, as we have faced unprecedented financial and demographics challenges, including an unsustainable structural deficit.

Our work to eliminate this deficit has included changes in our healthcare benefits, our retirement benefits and the size of our administrative staff — all financial levers identified in the One Oberlin report endorsed by the General Faculty and adopted by the Board of Trustees. We have contracted tenure track faculty lines and are relying less on visiting faculty. While these changes have been difficult, they will allow us to establish a firmer financial foundation for decades to come.

Yet there is more that we must do. As you will recall, 63 percent of our budget is dedicated to compensation. To ensure our excellence, we must continue to address the largest share of our budget while we simultaneously invest in our future.

Against that backdrop, Oberlin has notified the United Auto Workers that we are formally considering contracting with outside vendors for dining and custodial services currently provided by college employees. This would affect roughly 52 full-time dining employees and 56 full-time custodial employees, depending on the number of filled positions this summer, when the transition would occur. This step is permitted under our UAW contract, and we will begin collective bargaining with the UAW in coming weeks to determine how best to move forward.

Over the long term, these changes could save a critical $1 million a year in the operational costs of the dining program, and potentially another $1 million or more a year in custodial services, as potential vendors are better able to reach economies of scale based on their size and expertise.

We expect our potential vendors’ deep experience would help us achieve improved levels of service for our students, faculty, and staff. Oberlin, like many college campuses that have made this decision, would thereafter be able to focus our resources on the mission-centered activities the institution can best provide, investing in the academic and creative endeavors that prepare our students for lives of purpose.

This is not a decision we take lightly. We recognize the disruption and anxiety this process will cause members of our Oberlin family. We are providing early notice to the union because we respect their commitment to Oberlin, and so that affected employees would have an extended period of time to plan. Throughout the spring, we will continue to have discussions with the union, work closely with potential vendors, and work with affected employees themselves to provide the best options and opportunities.

It is our hope that many employees will be given the opportunity to interview for jobs with the newly selected vendors. It is possible that some affected employees may choose retirement because of their eligibility. Through their collective bargaining contracts, a smaller group may be eligible for other employment at Oberlin. For those who are not re-employed with the potential vendors, Oberlin would provide outplacement support. It is possible some people would not find employment quickly. In these cases, we would provide transition support and severance negotiated with the UAW.

We also understand that this will affect the rest of our campus community. Yet we must make difficult choices to ensure the long-term health of the institution, and we must make them soon. Each year that goes by without fully securing financial sustainability reduces the options available to Oberlin.

For those who want to know more about this process, we have a website that provides more detailed information. We have posted information at www.oberlin.edu/custodial-dining-workforce-updates, including an extensive set of frequently asked questions. Of course, the website is not exhaustive, as some of the outcomes will be based on conversations with the unions and potential vendors. We will update the campus community at appropriate points in our planning and in our negotiations with the UAW and with potential vendors.

While we will continue to consider a variety of options for managing institutional cost and investments, we are not planning additional changes like those described in this letter.

As challenging as these considerations are, it is important to keep in mind that our collective efforts have begun to demonstrate results. Our admission classes the past two years have been the largest in the past six years. We have been able to invest in new academic programs, Winter Term, Career Communities, Connect Cleveland, faculty salaries and more. Meanwhile, we have kept sacrosanct our commitment to financial aid to ensure diversity. The breadth and depth of our liberal arts and conservatory educations have been protected, as have academic programs. We have preserved core institutional elements of the College, the Conservatory, the Art Museum, and the residential experience.

We believe that taken holistically, the efforts to manage our costs, to invest in our future, and to build educational momentum and leadership will pave the way for a period of sustainability and stability.

Sincerely,

Carmen Twillie Ambar

President, Oberlin College

It is not clear from the announcement if these 108 full time positions that will no longer be given to union employees represent all such custodial and dining hall employees, or just a portion. The Frequently Asked Questions posted by the college suggest this is a complete elimination of unionized custodial and dining hall workers.

Will this eliminate the union?

No. The UAW will continue to represent other groups of employees at Oberlin, and we look forward to continuing good relations with all of Oberlin’s employee unions.

It the Frequently Asked Questions, Oberlin College denies that the cuts are related to the Gibson’s Bakery case:

Is this connected to a need to pay the Gibson’s judgment?

This effort is completely independent of the Gibson judgment and is directly connected to the need to support Oberlin’s mission and improve the College’s operating budget as identified by President Ambar in her first few months on campus.  The Gibson’s matter is now on appeal and therefore it would not be appropriate to comment further.

Oberlin College is as woke as it comes.

It will be interesting to see if the woke students, faculty and staff react to this union-busting with the same outrage and aggressiveness as was directed at Gibson’s Bakery for having the temerity to stop a student from shoplifting.

UPDATE 2-19-2020

The Chronicle-Telegram has details on how it went down in a particularly cold-hearted way:

For a union representative who learned of the college’s proposal at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, just two hours before his membership would hear the plan, the news came like a punch in the gut, delivered in “bad faith.”…

Villar said he got a call at 11 a.m. Tuesday to meet at 11:30 with upper management, who told him “that they will no longer be needing custodial or CDS, Campus Dining Services, staff because of the deficit.”

That’s more than 110 employees, Villar said, including some with more than 30 years service to the college and at least one with 43 years service. Others are only three to four years from retirement and are members of families who have worked there for generations.

“It came with no warning, no type of ‘Let’s see if we can have a hiring freeze, a pay freeze,’ ” said Villar, whose mother also worked for the college. “They said they were going to tell our members at 1:30 that they were going to implement the changes, and this is where we’re going to head going forward. It was pretty much a slap in the face.”

Villar said he was told the affected employees would be let go as of July 1.

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Comments

HAW HAW HAW!

Democrats always love Unions until the moment they start to go broke from overpaying all the Unions they love so much.

    Massinsanity in reply to Tom Servo. | February 18, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    Channeling a Bernie bro… so they are attempting to balance their budget on the backs of their lowest paid employees and not the millionaires at the C level of the organization?

    Shocking for such a woke institution.

      Do you really think those at the top of Russia, Cuba, Venezuela are suffering like the masses. No pain at the top is a feature of Socialism, Communism, dictatorships, not a bug. When there is little wealth left to re-distribute, the Deplorable certainly are not going to get any.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Tom Servo. | February 18, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    “There have been cutbacks in many areas of the campus, including faculty.”

    Next cut should be Carmen Amber Twilley, her inner circle, and every puff affirmative major.

    And the Democrats wonder how they have lost the union voters? This is why.

Make ’em live according to their rules. Unions are big on the Democrats’/lefties’ list of “clients.” Force them to support unions no matter the cost.

What will Oberlin’s AA President Amber do?

In other words, the President of Oberlin College went the long way around the barn to confess that union labor is not the most cost efficient employee pool.

    You mean letting the market set the wage for a given job could actually help the employer?

    Not very woke.

    Oversoul Of Dusk in reply to locomotivebreath1901. | February 18, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    Instead of saving money on wages, Oberlin should stop spending so much on food and cleaning supplies.

    Just assign every student a quota as a condition of enrollment: each month, you must shoplift from local business at least $X of food and $Y of janitorial stuff, and give it to the college. Any business that objects is automatically racist, so next month we’ll steal twice as much from them.

    As an added bonus, the little snowflakes could put “safe food handling” and “supply chain management” on their resumes.

      Or because of the very nature of socialism, they could assign as a class requirement, all students must engage in mopping the floors and cleaning the dishes and kitchen area every night.
      Failure of any student to do so would result in lower grades for all students.
      From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.

      In Calif they could steal up to $960 and only be charged with a misdemeanor!

      Brilliant, Sir! Bravo Zulu on a job well done!

I hope Ms. Ambar enjoys xer turkey, avocado and spit sammich.

Maintain quality?

That darn maff again!!

Separate the Conservatory from the University of BatShit and at least something may survive.

On the uptick, think of all the students who will not to poisoned by the culture that has become Oberlin!

Apparently they could have been saving this same $2 million a year all along but decided that being woke was worth increased fees for the students. I’ll be they could hire a competent President for less too.

get woke, go broke…

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

😎

they could have a garage sale featuring artwork to raise cash

It is incredible to me how obtuse this woman’s writing is.

“we have taken a number of essential steps together.” What does the word “together” modify? “We together” have taken steps seems to be the only thing that makes sense, but from the positioning, it is the “steps” that are together. Together with what? What kind of degree does this “president” have?

“unprecedented financial and demographics challenges” — say what?

“an unsustainable structural deficit” — I understand the words, but what is a “structural deficit”?

“We have contracted tenure track faculty lines” — to contract is to shorten. But what does it mean to have shortened “tenure track faculty lines”? If they are shortening the tenure lines, doesn’t that mean that professors will reach tenure earlier/faster and will therefore increase the structural expenses of the institution? At least, holistically?

I do understand that if Oberlin thinks it will save $1 mil from replacing 50 dining employees and another million from replacing 50 custodians, that works out to a savings of $20K per employee — the UAW is doing a great job, if their workers are on average $20K over market!

    Massinsanity in reply to Geologist. | February 18, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    Structural deficit is a fairly common term. It means that non discretionary spending is at such a level that the institution cannot turn a profit.

    Fixing it generally requires layoffs (or moves like this one) since wages and benefits are the bulk of operating expenses at a college or university.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Geologist. | February 18, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    “but what is a “structural deficit”?”

    Carmen Amber Twilley is an example of a deficit, if not a deficit at least a liability.

    LibraryGryffon in reply to Geologist. | February 18, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    To contract means to “decrease in size, number, or range” per Oxford dictionary found via Google.

    So I imagine this is a circumlocutious way of saying that fewer faculty members are going to have a chance at tenure going forward.

      healthguyfsu in reply to LibraryGryffon. | February 18, 2020 at 11:10 pm

      Lines are streams of hire.

      Contracting lines means that they will hire less faculty on the tenure track from the get go.

      These people will come in hired as lecturers and instructors, which are non-tenure track hiring streams. In other words, they will come in knowing that they will not go up for tenure because it is not part of their employment agreement and career trajectory.

    Hey, Geologist, does “contracted” as used here mean shrink, or does it mean entering into a contract — perhaps to outsource tenure?

    /s/ JD Nobody, OC ’61

    artichoke in reply to Geologist. | February 19, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    I found “admissions class” an interesting term. They have their biggest “admissions classes” the past two years, but not the biggest “classes”.

    Admit like crazy, suffer low yield, I guess.

    neurodoc in reply to Geologist. | February 19, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Because Oberlin is touted as a leading liberal arts college and the president is a Columbia Law grad and senior academic administrator you expect prose worthy of Churchill? Consider what Twilley has to obfuscate with her babbling and the challenge of that task.

    *”structural deficit” – baked into the school’s finances, serious rather than minor and easily remedied shortfall; like living in an old Victorian home and discovering major damage to the framework from termites.

    Fire Meridith Raimundo, who has cost the school $Ms, and save what is paid her.

    Laughable that the school doesn’t want to say anything about the judgment they are appealing, when while the issue of punitive damages was being decided.

Anacleto Mitraglia | February 18, 2020 at 6:04 pm

As usuas with socialism, the workers are to take it holistically in their culo.

Oberlin: The last thing we ever want to see happen is blue collar workers entering the middle class.

Professor#1: What we need is a permanent underclass to do all the filthy work like sweeping dirt and cooking our food.

Ambar: F those drooling NASCAR fanbois. AMIRITE?

When I was there a student could pay his tuition by working in the dining halls.

    There was a time when many of us worked our way through college and did not take out loans for living expenses.

    When I graduated I didn’t have any money but I also had no debt.

      MajorWood in reply to NotKennedy. | February 19, 2020 at 11:55 am

      When I attended in the 70’s I could have paid for 40% of the total cost from my summer job ($3000/7000). Nowadays a student would need to make $30K over the summer to be in the same position. All of these colleges have priced themselves out of the market and only exist at the moment because of the huge amount of underwriting done with the college loan program, whose sole purpose was to create a huge indebted underclass that has to vote for the Dems with the hope that their huge debts will be forgiven (hint, they never will be, as the Dems will then lose the leverage of that promise).

      JusticeDelivered in reply to NotKennedy. | February 19, 2020 at 12:04 pm

      Same for me, and now my retirement is meegar because I make sure that my children have no college debt.

      I insisted that each spend their first two years in the community college. That way they were marginally more mature.

      While I could have afforded to raise them with a golden spoon, I chose silver instead. I bought them sales items, if the wanted name brand they had to pay half. Cash upfront, because they were not a good credit risk 🙂 Everything I did was used to teach.

      One example is forgiving sales tax if they could tell me how much it would be.

      In spite or what a PIA kids are, I really like them, the only irrational thing I do.

        Community college is a great way to get the core curricula stuff out of the way at the lowest cost. The faculty, adjunct or full time, are usually very capable, talented and engaged.

        Hard to say what is more inflated, the cost for tuition, the content of information delivered or “value” of a college degree. For sure, if the federal government had not inserted itself into the process then the prices would not have increased beyond the ability of students to pay.

        Far better that a would be college student would put the cost of an “education” into the purchase of a home or similar appreciable asset.

        Of course, the competitive programs that lead to professions and careers can often only be obtained by formal education, STEM, accounting, chemistry, allied health sciences and structured programs that lead to viable terminal degrees.

        Community Organizing is NOT a profession…. haha, although Public Administration may have informed them!

Why is it when costs are an issue middle and senior management always start by tightening the belt on the indians rather than the chiefs?

Lead by example!!!

I would love to see their P&L and admissions data.

The school has to have been very poorly managed for many years or perhaps its yield has become very unpredictable given all the bad press and it isn’t yielding enough quality students and/or full pay students.

Oberlin has an endowment of close to $1B. This alone should put it on solid footing. There are only about 65 colleges with endowments of $1B or more and I do know of any of them claiming the types of financial challenges Oberlin seems to be facing. The endowment should conservatively provide $30-40M/year to the operations of the school and in challenging times most financial experts would be OK with a draw of 5% for a few years which would provide $50M/year to operations.

Yet they still have a structural deficit. Seems crazy to me.

    Massinsanity in reply to Massinsanity. | February 18, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    One clarification. My 65 count is private schools only. There are many state schools and systems with $1B or more in their endowments.

    I wonder how much of the endowment is limited in how the funds are spent. I would bet that most if not all of it cannot be spent on operations.

    artichoke in reply to Massinsanity. | February 19, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    Admissions data is probably what we would expect: disastrous. She gave a clue. She said the “admissions class” was the largest ever, which means they admitted very generously. But the “enrolled class” or simply the “class”, well she doesn’t talk about that. So they have low yield even from people they admitted who would have been rejected promptly a few years ago.

    And this year will be the first when the full effect of the lawsuit will be knowable by applicants.

    The timing of this is interesting, as Oberlin now has data on the Fall 2020 applications, the first class to show the effect of the Gibson’s lawsuit.

ugottabekiddinme | February 18, 2020 at 6:34 pm

I should think Oberlin could do a lot better shedding a few dozen “diversity deans” at six figure salaries or whatever they call them there, than by canning 100 service workers in dining and custodial operations. . . but that’s just me.

This is something that any business would have done decades ago. To state the obvious (?): serving prepared foods is hardly central to Oberlin’s mission; therefore, it makes no sense for the school to directly provide this service.

Then again, it’s become far from obvious what most college’s do consider their primary missions.

This is something that any business would have done decades ago. To state the obvious (?): serving prepared foods is hardly central to Oberlin’s mission; therefore, it makes no sense for the school to directly provide this service.

Then again, it’s become far from obvious what most college’s do consider their primary mission. Traditionally, colleges and universities have three significant missions (in varying degree, depending on the school):
1. Creation of new knowledge (research).
2. Transmission of existing knowledge (teaching).
3. Provision of educational credentials.

A school that is accredited can confer credentials, yet some credentials are more valuable than others. Might not a reasonable person might ask if perhaps a degree from Oberlin has depreciated, considering how much of the “knowledge” created and transmitted there might better be described as contemporary political dogma?

Circling the drain. Quick bring in Bernie’s wife to straighten it out.

Note that Oberlin College President Carmen Amber Twilley did not announce that she is taking a voluntary pay cut. In contrast, when my filthy capitalist employer was in lean times he not only stopped taking any salary he also put personal funds into the company to keep everyone’s paychecks coming.

Gee, I really wonder if President Ambar will negotiate to donate some of her $500,000+ salary to help out the struggling Oberlin College of which she is president…

And Gibson’s endures – Schadenfreude squared.

Ain’t pedagogical and diversity credits grand?

Carmen Twillie Ambar (born July 3, 1968)[1] is an American attorney, academic, and the current president of Oberlin College in Ohio. She was appointed to the post in May 2017.

In 2002, she became the ninth woman to lead Douglass College and the youngest dean in its history. She was dean of Douglass College until August 2008 when she became president of Cedar Crest College. Ambar was appointed by Governor Corzine to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority Board of Directors. In 2017, she was named 15th president of Oberlin College.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in foreign service from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, a master’s degree in public affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and a J.D. degree from Columbia University School of Law.

1: Makes me wonder what Oberlin’s opinion of California’s AB5 is?

2: When our kid was starting the college application process, the smartest thing her school councilor asked was whether she wanted a political campus. The answer was not just a no, but a h no. She hates politics. It helped take a massive number of schools off the list…including Oberlin, of course.

I think it might be time to re-purpose that sculpture in front of Talcott to reflect the train wreck that Twillie has directed in less than 3 years.

https://www.oberlin.edu/underground-railroad-sculpture

Lorain County was 50:50 in the 2016 election. I was thinking that they would shift to 55:45 for Trump in 2020. With a move like this against the unions, I think 60:40 is an achievable goal. Twillie said that there were cuts in the number of administrators, but gave no number, so lets assume one at most, and probably a useful one at that.

Is that guy Aladin who started this mess still there? He can chip in … by picking up a broom and sweeping back and forth, back and forth. I’m sure there are you tube videos that can show him how to do it. [Sweeping, that is … not stealing bottles of wine]

That letter is way too long.

Comanche Voter | February 18, 2020 at 9:43 pm

When will Oberlin can this bimbo?

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Comanche Voter. | February 19, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    They should can her, she is another very expensive incompetent affirmative hire. Considering Oberlin College’s history, they cannot admit that an affirmative hire turned out to be a dud. My business experience was that lots of affirmative hires were duds, and it was a royal pain to get rid of them.

Reading between the lines, did Carmen Amber Twilley say to the future layed off workers, “learn to code”?

Subotai Bahadur | February 18, 2020 at 11:16 pm

I am . . . amused. The union employees are UAW. They are not known for collegiate level sensitivity. I kinda expect that the contractors’ employees may start having accidents.

Subotai Bahadur

I’m going to need more popcorn…

They got woke. They’re going broke. Wonder how many administrators they’re cutting to save money?

    The Drill SGT in reply to Victor Erimita. | February 19, 2020 at 2:05 am

    I am certain that when, ultimately, they close their doors, the guy who turns out the lights will be an Administrator, not a janitor…

Feel good story of the day.

Maybe she’s setting up a sob story to the courts to get the amount owed the bakery significantly reduced.

Hire Sander’s wife to put the final nail in their coffin.

Pres. Ambar seems to claim that the contingent liabilities coming out of the Gibson mess have nothing to do with anything.

The OberlinChaos.com blog disagrees with Ambar, as witnessed in its latest post: https://oberlinchaos.com/litigation/hall-of-shame/oberlins-foxes-cornered/ This post also suggests that Dean Meridith Raimondo may not be totally crazy.

It is noteworthy that OberlinChaos.com has not been submitted to any search engine or social media site, yet has had nearly 5000 word-of-mouth page views since its inception.

One small point – those UAW employees of the school are all “Townies” – locals like the Gibson bakery. Losing 110 good wage jobs in that small town is not going to make the college any more popular.

This measure is a certain tragedy. There will be wailing and gnashing I’m sure.
I was in this town a few years ago and I couldn’t help but notice that the “O” on their sign looked very very similar to the commercially reproduced window sticker “O The President” for the 44th president’s supporters.

So they’re going to save a couple million a year with this move, all while paying out more than $35 million (probably a lot more when everything’s tallied, especially if the negative effect on enrollment were to be included) to the Gibsons?

Hmm, I guess arithmetic is racist.

    MajorWood in reply to RandomCrank. | February 19, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    My SWAG for the eventual payout will top $60M by the time a reversal to 3X punitive is restored by appeal ($34M)(better than 50:50 here), the interest is ramped up accordingly ($6.3M est), the cost to Oberlin in legal fees and PR work for them ($10M est), the Gibsons ($6.5M), and the cost of the bond (unk) is factored in. It may well turn out that the $31.5M bond might not be sufficient and their cash reserves in the endowment might not be sufficient to cover the difference, given that they are draining $$$ from the discretionary pool each year and the final payout is likely 2-3 years down the road. A default in the payment would be disastrous for them, either a big change in their bond rating or it might expose a sugar-daddy behind all of these bad decisions who has been hiding in the shadows. For people who seem Godless they sure are placing a lot of their future in unbridled faith.

    Hard to believe that just a year ago I was thinking that a $6-10M worst case outcome was likely. Oberlin never disappoints when fervor is part of the equation.

BiteYourTongue | February 19, 2020 at 2:03 pm

This should be a lesson learned to the students, but I doubt it will. Stealing from local business cost jobs to the school and no sympathy from the public.

Twillie wrote: “… our collective efforts have begun to demonstrate results. Our admission classes the past two years have been the largest in the past six years.”

What is an “admission class”? Does that mean they admitted more people than ever? She did not say the “enrolled class” was bigger, though! So, despite the huge “admission class”, not so many enrolled, a lower yield than in prior years?

Couldn’t happen to a better bastion of leftwingnut insanity.

NeighborOfTheBeast | February 19, 2020 at 6:51 pm

Can someone…anyone…please explain to me wtf the United Auto Worker’s union is doing in the cafeteria business?

    Well, Ohio was about as big an auto manufacturing state as Michigan at one time, so the Auto-workers were THE union. I am guessing that as the auto stuff wound down that they diversified into other areas.

    Oberlin hasn’t yet worked out the impact that this move will have at election time. The rank and file union members are no longer a guaranteed vote for the Dems in Ohio. Lorain Cty was just slightly blue in 2016, one of 8 counties out of 88. Only Cuyahoga (Cleveland) and Franklin (Columbus) were solidly blue. My guess is that in 2020 Trump will take 4 more counties, with only Hamilton (Sincity) and the one that Ohio University is in in deep SE Ohio. Akron, Toledo, and Youngstown are former big Auto towns and the slight of union workers by a liberal democratic college will be noticed now that Gibsons has gotten their attention. Oberlin is truly tone deaf. That kid who didn’t understand how Trump won in 2016 only needs to look in the mirror to sort it out this time.

The first to go should be Raimondo!

Aside from the personal loss of David Gibson, it is also a shame that he didn’t live a bit longer to hear this or, according to what I have seen & know of him, he probably wouldn’t rejoice in their misfortune since it does affect over 100 of his neighbors losing their jobs.
On the other hand, it’s a very good thing the college was forced to take out a bond for the judgement they already lost. It would seen, although we are talking about the same people who could have settled this all with an apology, that they would now cut their losses rather than add on to them with an appeal which involves paying even more lawyer fees for both their lawyers as well as the Gibson’s lawyers. Not sure what power the Ohio Supreme Court has but I supposed it is possible they could also set aside the maximum award allowed by Ohio law for this case costing them even more. Either way, their costs are not going to go down the longer it continues and, since the trial forced David to delay his treatment, that likely removed any possibility that the Gibson’s would agree to anything less. It sounds like this college is sliding down into the end of their “need” to even be around. I can’t see any serious employer looking at a diploma from them worth more than the paper it is written on & the “educators” may not want to even place them on their resume.

These are not good times for private liberal arts colleges. Enrollments are way down, expenses are higher than ever, and many private colleges are folding, including some well-established ones. Even if they’re well-endowed, such as Oberlin presumably is (or was), it’s hard to feature how they can long endure gross mismanagement on top of all else.

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