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Antioch Welcomes New Interim President

Antioch University has appointed Dr. Richard Jurasek to serve as Interim President of Antioch College. Rick Jurasek, who joined the Antioch community in August of 2003 as Executive Vice President and Dean of Faculty, agreed to take on this new role at a time of real renewal for Antioch College. “We are delighted that Rick is willing to accept the challenge. Rick demonstrates an exceptional commitment to Antioch College and a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities of the institution and its constituencies. He is taking on this role to help lead our effort to renew Antioch College for the 21st Century,” says Antioch University Chancellor James Craiglow.

“My initial impression was that Antioch was a teaching and learning laboratory,” said Dr. Jurasek, “a place that always has a tireless dedication to breaking the mold, to challenging students to become true explorers and experimenters.” Ten months later, Jurasek says, his impressions of Antioch have certainly proven to be true, and he is ready for the challenges of the new position.

When asked about the presidential search, Craiglow said: “The length of the search process is difficult to determine. It may be months or perhaps up to one year, although we certainly plan to expedite the process as much as possible.” The Antioch community is delighted, however, that Dr. Jurasek is willing to accept the short-term challenge and help as Antioch College continues the search for a permanent president.

Dr. Jurasek’s career prior to Antioch began at Earlham College in the late 70s. It was shortly after the start of this career that he came to form his first impressions of Antioch College. “Both colleges [Earlham and Antioch] have a dedication to cross-cultural learning and study abroad. In fact, much of my focus and development as a cross-cultural educator was greatly influenced by Antioch faculty, who were very generous with their time and professionally supportive of me as I began to sort out the unique problems and opportunities that experiential learning presents.”

Jurasek, who joined the Antioch College Renewal Commission in January, said that the College is heading in a new direction not based on incremental change, but on “deep and thorough transformation.” Jurasek calls the renewal plan “ambitious and doable,” and says he is well prepared to lead Antioch during this time.

“Antioch is known because it has dared to be different,” comments Jurasek. He quickly adds that although this reputation for difference is certainly a good thing, Antioch also must be known as an excellent educational institution in more familiar ways. “Antioch is a place where students develop the capacity for critical thinking, connected knowing, and written and oral competence. Antioch has to be as good as it can be in terms of these baccalaureate essentials, and it has to get the word out to prospective students and parents, and other stakeholders.”

page last updated: August 4, 2004