Public Comments continue
Jackie McGrath, CODFA faculty
Has worked at COD for 12 years and notes how sad she felt when reading the HLC report. The worst findings that could have been have. And this morning, instead of a to-do list of what this college could do to address and resolve the issues mentioned in the report. But instead there was an e-mail defending the Senior Management Team. But it is clear that we need leadership change at this college. We have to look at who is making management decisions at this college.
These issues are squarely at the feet of those who took the decisions and that is why we need a change in senior management — non-renewal, reassignment, resignation, firing — they are standing in the way of what needs to be changed here at COD.
Refers to the note sent by the missing three trustees. Reminds the public that the Illinois Community College Act stipulates that the Chair presides at the meetings and do what she chair is bound to do by law. The Vice-Chairman serves in the Chairman’s absence.
Notes that the Higher Learning Commission has put COD on probation for two years.
Notes that Illinois State legislation has also been created in order to address the problems created by the previous administration.
We all know the facts now.
Rosalea Danielson– retired Professor of Economics, COD
Academics are solid at COD, but probation puts a black mark on this college. Many students are going to associate probation with non-accreditation. Students are worried about whether or not their credits will be accepted from a college that is on probation.
For many students, COD is the only option for starting their college career.
Do you think other colleges out of state are going to accept credits from a college that has to list on all its documents that it is on probation?
A lot of damage has been done. I hope this status of probation will not harm students.
Shame on the senior management for having acted in a way that has landed COD on probation.
But note that no actions by faculty are mentioned in the probation. Probation happened only because of actions taken by administration.
Comes to offer her support. Students are great. It might be hard for students to organize here since they don’t live on campus, but I would like to stand up for COD students.
The absence of the three trustees — they have basically admitted the truth of the situation. They are holding the student body hostage at this point. I support the call for the resignation of the three trustees who are absent today and for the resignation of the senior management team.
Tom Tipton, English Professor, COD
Hi, I’m Tom Tipton. I’ve lived in the district and taught English here for 22 years.
It’s too easy, this time of year to make reference to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and the ghosts of Christmas pasts. Oh, how things would have been different, if only…Flashback: The Board and administration’s journey to accreditation probation began several years ago when members of an earlier Board colluded to “fast track” their pick of the now terminated president. The explicit reason for his choosing was his business acumen — he was a self-proclaimed businessman for whom “cash was king.” The implicit reason for his choosing was his reputation for taking power from faculty — witness the public record of the strife he caused at Harper before his hire here.
There is no pleasure in pointing out the irony that the college is now on probation with the HLC because the so called businessman tried to run the college like a business. But it takes more than one bad leader to destroy a community. To be sure, along the way he drew a loyal following among some of — not all of, but some of —the board members and administrators who enjoy playing politicians and “corporate bigwigs.” This is the problem.
Make no mistake, though, the College’s core function of academics — teaching and learning — are NOT called into question in the HLC’s report; it is the Board and administration who are on probation.
So, in the spirit of Christmases future, in the spirit of hope, let’s not repeat the core mistake of years past in choosing the next president of College Future. We don’t need a politician, a businessman, an engineer, a general, a Major League Baseball General Manager, etc. — all noble professions in their own place, just not here. What we need is a college president who will lead the college as a college; a college administration that will serve as college administrators; a college board of trustees that will function. It will take more than just one good hire for the board and administration to get out of this mess.
Okay, since it is final exam week, here’s a one question, pass/fail final exam for the board and administration. Don’t worry, it’s multiple choice…Here goes…
In order to get out of probation, the Board and administration should…
A.stop its political infighting
B.hire a college president who will run the college as a college
C.listen to your faculty members
D.all of the above…
A.In case you don’t know, the correct answer is…all of the above. Here’s to a brighter Christmas future.
Notes he is sorry that Trustee McGuire did not show up with her two bobbleheads. They are trying to run COD into the ground.
Talks about the Waterleaf– how administration ate and drank there and charged the college.
Notes he is glad that Breuder is gone.
Jeanne Ives, State Representative
Talks about the crisis that has happened. Notes that she told the Senior Administration months ago that they are enablers.
43 internal audit investigations that reveal illegal or unethical actions — I want a timeline from senior administration. What did you know, when did you know it, and who did you share it with?
Bab behavior doesn’t happen in a vacuum. THE SLEA credit scandal falls at the hand of your administration. We have a problem with this. The Senior Management need to start talking. Where are the 43 audits.
The taxpayers are still paying for these administrators. She would like them held accountable.
Says he has to change his speech today because it was intended for people who are not present at this meeting.
Why are we pointing fingers at each other. We are a community. We should be supporting each other.
We cannot play the blame game and solve the problems we have here.
David Goldberg, Professor of Political Science.
Has been here 11 years.
There are three hige issues here:
Probationary Status by HLC as a result of Brueder’s dysfunctional time as president.
Unfortunately those responsible are still here. They continue to behave as if April 2015 had not occurred.
The authors of the disastrous policies have not taken responsibility.
And faculty have not been named in any of the HLC sanctions.
The administration that caused these problems remains in power. They should be dismissed or reassigned.
Notes that students are concerned about whether or not COD credits would transfer.
Today I cannot say with confidence that there will be no problems for students who want to transfer their credits.
Julia DiLiberti, Professor of Humanities for here for 11 years
Talks about her students and their stresses.
Talks about a Dean who has talked about whether or not COD programs will be accepted in Springfield.
We have BoT members who got their names in the paper for stealing COD documents.
I am so distracted by what is going on on these levels that it is hard to be fully present for students.
Notes that students are asking if our credits are going to be accepted.
Chris Robling, had a temporary position with COD until he left it yesterday.
Praises Hamilton, Mazzochi, Napolitano, Bernstein for their comprehensive attempts at reform.
edgarcounty watchdog website
Notes that absent BoT members have attempted to smear his name.
The HLC has clearly indicated that this is a corrupt institution.
Wants included in the minutes of this meeting: I am an award winning journalist, helped IIT, Rush University,have spoken and taught at NW, U of C, Roosevelt, DePaul. Has gotten awarded by American Transportation Company, has spoken abroad on transportation issues. Has been sent to Russia to do democracy training.
None of my previous work has included politics despite what the absent BoT members have been saying.
He has sent every paycheck he got here to the COD Foundation.
The former BoT members are the dead hand of the past. Management must be gutted and rebuilt. A new BoT member must be found and a new president who are committed to uncompromising reform.
Notes that the absence of the BoT members is a work stoppage. They could have come here to discuss their issues.
Chair Mazzochi asks Mr. Elliot to inform the public on the current state of the BoT.
Hamilton’s resignation became known on Sunday evening and was t ransmitted by him.
Two vacancies are now
Section 3-7 of CC Act. Process is that remaining trustees have 60 days to find and agree upon a replacement, a new successor trustee. All 6 trustees have to participate in that process. 4 must agree on a new trustee. Feb 11 2016 will be 60 days. If no agreement has happened then the ICCB will name a replacement. That new trustee would serve until April 2017 when voters would select a new trustee to fill
Section 3-10 of the Illinois CC Act
The Vice-Chair shall serve in the Chairman’s absence. If both Chair and Vie-Chair are absent a Chairman Pro-Tempa. Only if both Chair and Vice-Chair are unavailalbe does the BoT then select a temporary chair to fulfill the role of Chair.
5-65 –duty of Vice-Chair shall include the following — serve as the Chair in the Chair’s absence.
There has been some suggestion that the course of action is for COD BoT to convene a new organizational meeting. This is not the law.
3-8 — an organizational meeting is required to be held following an election. That would be every other year following an election. The next one will be in April 2017. There is nothing in the statute for interim organizational meetings.
An individual community college could opt out and have elections every one year. COD 5-55 says that the BoT will annually elect or appoint a Chair, Vice-Chair and treasurer every year. That takes place in April. Thus there is not provision by the ICCB or COD policy to have an interim organizational meeting.
It is my opinion as COD General Counsel that Deanne Mazzochi as Vice-Chair must serve as Chair. In April there will be a meeting to elect new officers.
Chair Mazzochi — Thank you. Some comments relating to recsent events
Reserve judgement until you have walked in somebody’s shoes. I deeply thank Kathy for her actions. Now we must positively build on her efforts. As elected members of this body we can expect a mutual comittment to excellence, judgement, reasonable compromise. We were elected and we owe this to the people who work here every day. We must be committed to our students.
We have new circumstances. We must work cooperatively and with collegiality. We should advance the besst ideas no matter where their origin.
Regarding HLC — this is what I understand has happened since Sunday.
First non-compliant component — COD’s internal audits. Non-compliant investments.
We are hiring an outside agency to help us with making investments meet with BoT policy.
43 internal audits took place that involved unethical or illegal actions. Mazzochi has asked for a complete set of audits. Wants to generate the documentation the the HLC is asking for.
Are we following our own ethics policies — HLC has found there is no robust ethics training for staff.
We were supposed to fund spending for ethics training o item 9D of tonight’s meeting.
Failure to receive financial statements. That was at a time of transition of teams. AS we move forward from Alex Partners to other investors we will make sure that documents are available.
the BoT has no involvement in Waterleaf management.
Should BoT be involved in selecting new positions — Mazzochi has asked Dr. Collins to follow normal procedures of presenting his suggestions to the BoT.
Will call a new meeting to expedite new hires.
Faculty governance was not properly respected regarding the SLEA problem, where faculty had expressed their concerns and were not listened to.
Faculty Vote of no Confidence was not taken seriously and no actions were taken by administration to address them.
We can make the changes needed by controlling ourselves. We can do this.
Professional fees– discussed in newspaper that there have been expenses for professional fees. These are caused by investigations. The BoT is obligated to allow these investigations to take place. Federal legal compliance is not a place where we can cut corners or costs.
The crises here are not manufactured.
The BoT could take steps to manage our costs through in-house counsel.
Trustee Napolitano and Dr. Collins can ensure next year’s budget has a line item for hire of in-house counsel.
Calls for a proposal by MacGuire, Birt and Wozniak to address
Will establish a committee to oversee litigation costs. Committee will be composed of Sands Van-Kirk, Collins, a Finance representative and Mazzochi.
Student Trustee- no report since it’s finals week.