5/14 BoT Special Meeting Post 1

Special BOT Meeting is called to order at 7:10 by Chairman Hamilton.

Roll call. Trustee Birt is absent. All others present.

Motion to approve tonight’s agenda. Moved by Mazzochi. Seconded by Trustee Bernstein.

Napolitano asks why there is no second  public comment and whether or not the public should be notified.

Chair Hamilton says that there will no second public comments tonight as it is a special meeting with an ambitious agenda. There will be a second comment period at the next meeting.

Vote on motion to approve agenda. Unanimously approved.

Hamilton: Public comment. Open Forum procedure is a privilege and not to be abused. Speakers will speak in the order they signed up. All questions will either be answered or referred to the appropriate person to answer.

Glenn Hansen

Good Evening, I’m Glenn Hansen, President of the Faculty Association and Faculty Senate.

First, I’d like to confirm that I have not been abducted by aliens and that yes, I was quoted in a COD press release today. Maybe a first, but certainly the first time in 7 years that a president has reached out to me. Let’s recognize that there are many things to talk about, but not tonight. We’ve reached the end of a very tough year and I would like celebrate by recognizing the good things we do.

I would like to welcome many new faculty members to College of DuPage. Contrary to what you have read or heard, this is a great place to have a teaching career. Almost 40 years ago, I decided I wanted to teach at COD. I taught my first class in a temporary building on this campus 30 years ago and never left. The majority of our colleagues can share similar story of longevity and commitment, so to our new faculty and staff, welcome.

I think the members of the faculty who are tonight recognized as our outstanding colleagues are evidence of what you will find in our classrooms. Individuals who are dedicated to our students, dedicated to the process of teaching and learning. Thank you for who you are and Congratulations! on the recognition of your achievements.

But, it is tomorrow evening that affirms why we are all here, Commencement. It is the best night of the year for all of us. As the spring semester ends more than 2000 students will become graduates and alumni. They will graduate and move forward with their certificate or degree. They may be finished, they may transfer, or they may return to take more classes to work towards a new goal. Thousands of other students have also completed one course or many and are in the process of reaching their goals. All students have turned to us as an educational resource with the trust that we will provide them with a quality educational opportunity. We believe that as the semester ends they will assure anyone who asks that they came here to learn and left enriched.

We must never lose sight of this.

Richard Jarman, Vice President CODFA

The cost for lots of large colorful postcards, four sets, apparently around $260,000 if what I read in the Tribune is accurate. To be blunt, this sort of spending has to stop. Setting aside for a moment the dubious ethics of distributing propaganda on the eve of the trustees’ election; I am not sure how Mr. Samborn was able to maintain a straight face when making the claim that, “it was done to promote positive news about the college” (Mr. Samborn wasn’t on the job then); what purpose did these mailings with their associated colossal expenses serve?

Throwing good money after bad. It is time to recognize that the days of defending the indefensible are over. $260 K spent on justifying the 100s of thousands squandered in other dubious activities. To put it in perspective, that $260 K could have paid the tuition for about 600 hundred students each taking a 3-credit hour class.  That number represents the large majority of the students taking our chemistry classes this semester.

And that is not all. Here comes Res Publica holding out its cap for $51 K for its “services” in crisis communication. You remember, that Res Publica that was hired by a law firm (now gone) that began its work before the board even approved it. So I guess that little charade established a precedent for Rathje and Woodward sitting at the table two weeks ago prior to being actually hired.

And then there is Randall (Randy) Samborn from Levick. As suddenly as Res Publica appeared, they were gone, usurped seemingly by Randy. Truth be told I find nothing in the board packets indicating any contract or approval of this arrangement. And who knows at this point how much has been spent on that questionable exercise. I would like to hear from the new board what it thinks of this adventurism in public relations and crisis management.

None of this is necessary. It is time to own up to the past and move on to the future. Enough of law firms, public relations and crisis management. Let’s commit to spending our resources on education, for that is what we are in the business of.

John Kraft

I want ot bring to your attention the letter to the BoT dated May 5, from the Higher Learning Commission stating that the HLC is placing the pending action of reaccreditation of COD until a site visit is had. Please post something on your website about that HLC visit. Several things were cited, including spending at the restaurant, Foundation members receving contracts. Within minutes of receving that we got an e-mail

General Schwartzkopf, asked how he knew what he knew said “I mainly know what I know from watching people do what they do wrong.”

Reports on e-mail that says he has spent a lot of time going   but I have never seen anything so scathing as what was sent to the COD from the HLC in any of the 1000s of pages I have read. IT is like a fire at a warehouse with no insurance. This writer doubts that COD will lose its accreditation, it should be noted so that it doesn’t happen again.

Kirk Allen

Headlines from the last meeting focused on bickering rather than on the positive things that happened at the last meeintg. I find it troubling that you whine about the meeting being illegal. IThe three of you spent the last meeting sniping. This board has to fix what was broken. If you can’t get to this, just resign. We want the taxpayers money is spent properly. The previous Board did not do this. Posting expenses in one giant pdf document does not work.

He gives an example of 4 cellphones on an ATT bill with no explanation of who has those phones, 4 employees, or one employee with the family put on the plan. We’ve seen this with other public body.

Also there are bills for invoices for personal meals, red box purchases, etc.  No receipts to show who is responsible for the charges.

The speaker notes other questionable expenses on these bills.

Rob Sherman

I am in Buffalo gRove, outside of the District. But I have been reading about the electioneering scandal we had in Buffalo Grove. The Indian Trails public library was in the biggest electioneering scandal in Illinois public library history.  The attorney involved in that was none other than Ken Florey. I would be willing to work with you and your team on this.  I can’t do this because I don’t live in the district. Maybe my friend Adam from Openthe books would be willing to do this.

Michael Connelly has sponsored a bill that would prohibit public bodies from participating in this kind of electioneering.  Senate Bill 914 — if you could give some support to this bill it would be sufficient for me to be convinced that COD is serious about this matter and will not allow it to happen again. This bill refers specifically to community colleges. I would like it also to apply to public libraries.