Roll call: Birt absent.
Agenda review: Mazzocchi asks that items 21 through 24 be moved to position after position 10, as 11, 12, 13, and 14 so they can be discussed after Waterleaf discussion. Motion passes.
Revised agenda approved.
McGuire thinks the agenda is incomplete because there is nothing on the presidential search. She is ruled out of order since she made the comments during the vote. Revised agenda passes.
I’m a recent graduate. I recently finished Noli Me Tangere, which started the Philipines revolution. I find Mr Rizal’s moderate revolution. I can help with your reform of the Waterleaf. I Last Spring, I spoke of turning the Waterleaf as student-centered building. My timing was less than ideal. The college does not want for money. The problem with Waterleaf is not that it lost money, but that it did with no benefit to the students. Hire students to work at Waterleaf. Consider the path of the moderation and reform the Waterleaf.
I want to talk about the hiring of Alix Partners, and rush to judgement and need for expertise that were discussed. I disagree with both. The treasurer and comptroller were breaking the rules and COD policies. They could have had the best of intentions. The prior BOt could have asked more questions but they did break the rules. In the private sector, they would have been let go. There is a need for expertise but that is for every company. When the CFO of a company quits or is fired, there is a scramble but not the hiring of a private firm at $600 per hour. The department scrambles but makes up, it shows trust to the employees of the college. I believe these employees are honest and can do the work.
I want to know if this BOT is ready to turn the page on a new approach. It’s been 2 months since the change, but not all trustees have gotten the message. The need for change for COD culture is evident: the scandal at the radio station, previous BOT not asking questions, staff operating outside policies, no-bid contracts, audits reporting only to the president, previous BOT chairs making contract extensions with Breuder without proper discussion, allowing the buy-out, authorizing change orders before the Board approved them. That’s what we’ve seen over the past 5 years. That needs to change. The real question is can this board do the reform or continue the petty fight? If the latter, then, resignations are in order.
I’d like to address the Waterleaf. I’m a small business owner, I have served on school boards. I have rad about COD over the past year. I have enjoyed many meals at Waterleaf but was surprised, the first time, that no students worked there. It would be nice to have it serve the purpose it was designed for. Looking at other culinary schools in our area, and this would be a major asset to the students as opposed to an empty liability.
Mark Misiorowski (waived)
For those of us who have been reading the CT, there is reason to be concerned. We the people have had enough of the previous board, and those that have rubber-stamped all the president’s decisions. I tell the majority of this board, I say tighten your grip, keep up the good fight. For the mismanagement of the college funds, I was not surprised. We were misled by the referendum. People at the college told us it was about the students. Students, my foot. I like what you’re doing. Stop the increase in tuition, in taxes. That would prove that we have really turned the corner.
MR Bauer Foundation hired Glaser for work they need done. To date, the college has not provided any copy of the work product. Can someone explain how money can be spent with no work product. This should be turned over to the internal investigative team.
Trustee McGuire, you pointed out you knew that board policy was violated because of higher returns. You should resign. Do you know where property taxes are deposited? You can respond. I’ll give you my time. Each time money was deposited in investment account, board policy was violated. Arguments to raise taxes were always supported because it was only a small amount but now you oppose tax reduction even though it would also be a small amount.
I have not prepared remarks. The first time I attended, I was shocked that a student said no student worked at Waterleaf. We should be hiring students. I’d like to see less extra-curricular, high end stuff that competes with private companies. Student clubs: a club that is called “big government sucks” was denied as too political. You have model UN which is every bit as political. We’d like to see a return to academics. For the no trustees, get over yourselves.
I want to comment on property tax and tuition cuts, and about today’s article in the CT. The only justification for the fund balance was stockpiling cash and the BOt ignored their fiduciary duty and rubber-stamped the president’s decisions. The BOT should recognize that current students are current or future taxpayers. I recommend a further, greater than $5, tuition reduction, with further reduction of 0.5% per year for the next few year. It’s going to have an immediate positive effect on the students. On Waterleaf, use it for something good.