Category Archives: BOT

Board of Trustees Meeting Blog
Occasional reports on meetings of COD’s Board of Trustees and committees, particularly those of concern to faculty. For complete coverage of Board meetings, access the live streams and/or the recordings of meetings. For more information, visit the COD Board of Trustees website.

COD Board of Trustees Special Meeting 5/5/2016 agenda #8

#8 Trustee Discussion.

Mazzochi attended Celebration of Student Learning and was delighted.

Olsen mentions how wonderful it is that Rondeau is coming to campus to get to know us before her contract starts. He also acknowledges Collins’ leadership and thanks him.

Mazzochi appreciates all the welcoming comments for Dr. Rondeau.

Bernstein comments about the public comment at the previous meeting about the audit committee meeting at which someone was supposedly not allowed to speak. He clarified that the person was given three minutes as usual and that when another trustee asked for the speaker to be allowed more time, he deferred and allowed it.

Meeting adjourned.

COD Board of Trustees Special Meeting 5/5/2016 agenda #5-7

#5. The purpose of the closed session is a meeting with Barbara Johnson, Vice President for Accreditation Relations, Higher Learning Commission.

Roll call following closed session. All present except Birt and McGuire.

#6. Information FY2017 Budget Update.

Napolitano introduces the presentation. Budget committee has met several times. Some changes coming including state funding we were not counting on. Plan for June 23 budget ready for BOT approval.

David Virgilio from administration presents overview. All divisions have entered operating budget. Full presentation will be on the 19th. Expecting a deficit about $11million for FY17. Two options presented for balancing the budget. Variations based on use of fund balance, use of $5M surplus from current year, other factors. Questions raised about IT expenses rising abruptly, new capital requests. State payments budgeted for 6 out of 12. Bernstein asks if it’s possible to find 5% to remove. Virgilio replies that would most likely come from salary savings from unfilled positions, already built in a certain amount for that. Napolitano says that state money is really hard to predict, need to make sure we don’t get into a situation like what we’re seeing downstate. Need to preserve our rainy day fund, don’t use for balancing budget, it will go away really quick. Bernstein says we need to encourage you to find savings. Napolitano says not to reduce headcount. What else can we look at to offset deficit. Mazzochi mentions talking to schools at HLC conference who had laid off 30-50% of faculty. Prefers budget option B which does not draw from fund balance. Olsen comments that Napolitano and Bernstein are discussing a different option, he agrees. Bernstein says it requires rigorous look at expenses. Mazzochi asks if we are covered for MAP funds, Virgilio responds that those are covered differently and are already accounted for. Olsen asks for a presentation on budget variances, wants to understand what happened this year. Bernstein says he is hopeful that there is still surplus in the budget. Virgilio says that several months of this year have been unusual, delay in budget approval, then two months when BOT did not approve expenditures. More discussion of timing of presentation, Olsen presses to have it in May.

#7. FOR APPROVAL: Employment Agreement of Dr. Ann Rondeau. Mazzochi calls Kinsella to reply to public comment question about president’s vacation days etc. He says that it is intended to be in line with other senior administrators and that the policy is on the HR website. Mazzochi says no one gets special treatment. Olsen says that it’s a model contract, very transparent, no hidden clauses or benefits. Mazzochi says the board has learned from past mistakes.

Motion passes with Wozniak abstaining.


COD Board of Trustees Special Meeting 5/5/2016 agenda #1-4

Tonight’s meeting is streamed at this link:

To view the agenda and download the meeting packet, go to this link: 

Blogging will continue until the end of tonight’s meeting OR until 10pm, whichever comes first. Please note that a closed session is scheduled early in the agenda, after the public comments.

Roll call: Birt, Wozniak, and McGuire absent.


Jan Shaw. Hoping for short meeting. Congratulations on hiring new president. Has question about contract, wants to know exact number of sick days and vacation days. Meant to address the trustees who are not here, hopefully they are watching. They didn’t participate, then complained about not having a voice. These members need to do their duty or resign.


Glenn Hansen, COD Faculty Association President. It is finally time to move forward and stop wallowing in the past. I’m not saying forget about the past and move on, I’m saying stop living in the past, fix the problems that led us here, and don’t allow the mistakes to be repeated. Tonight you will approve the contract with Dr. Rondeau to lead the College for the next 3 years. On behalf of the faculty, I would like to welcome her to COD. We are eager to work with all constituencies to restore COD’s reputation and are excited about the days ahead.

It is significant that Dr. Rondeau is hired on the same evening that there is a closed session meeting with Dr. Johnson representing the Higher Learning Commission.  Timing is everything.

It is important to the faculty that it be made clear that the actions and lack of actions that led to probation were the result of a sequence of events, many of which were shared many times. Therefore Dr. Rondeau’s view of “Accountability as an opportunity not a threat” resounds well with us. Accountability and Responsibility should be our brand moving forward. Let us demonstrate our Shared Institutional values of Integrity, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility.

Welome Dr. Rondeau.


Richard Jarman, COD Faculty Association Vice-President.

On Monday, there were three. Tonight we are down to one. As you could tell from the raucous ejaculations from a certain segment of the audience when Trustee Olsen announced the name on the resolution, you made the correct choice. Tonight is hopefully the simple matter of confirming the contract.

I think I can speak for all faculty that we look forward to working with Dr. Rondeau in the coming years. While the academic reputation of the good ship COD is resolute; and its financial position is very secure compared to many Illinois public colleges in the current financial debacle; it has been blown off course by the storm of scandals, and lies in mortal danger of foundering upon the reef of probation.

As you can see, I am shamelessly using corny nautical metaphors to welcome our new president as we take the optimistic view that her hand upon the tiller will steer the vessel into the calmer waters of restored accreditation. We have learned that the task is onerous, and the required documentation formidable. A new era of improved collaboration and cooperation is required. We are up for the challenge and look forward to the voyage.


Keith Yearman, Professor of Geography.

In my right hand I hold the list of College of DuPage administrators for the years 2001-2002. There are 40 individuals on this list, including four vice-presidents, an associate vice president and one assistant vice president.

I look at the list of COD administrators for this year. The administration has grown from 40 to 44. The number of vice presidents has grown from four to seven. While we still only have one associate vice president, we have added a second assistant vice president.

Back in 2001, full vice presidents accounted for 10% of the administration. Today, they are 16%.

The percentage of any rank of vice president has grown from 15% in 2001 to nearly 23% now.

I’d like to compare this to the ranks of your full time faculty, but I’m not sure what the true numbers are. The numbers I’m using are what the college has used in its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, on the chart “Operating Information: Employee Headcount and Classification Last Ten Years.” In this, the college reported 275 full-time faculty in 2001, down to 259 this past year.

Why has the administration grown 10%? Why have the full vice presidents grown by 75%? Yet your reported ranks of full-time faculty have decreased by nearly 6% over the same period. Something is wrong with this, and I encourage this board to put the priority back on the classroom and instruction, not administration.


Roger Kempa. Troubled by college’s selection and process of external auditor. Has prepared a lengthy report for the trustees. Discusses qualifications of audit firms. We hired one that performed audits for Dixon, IL, largest municipal bankruptcy in American history. Why was an ill-qualified firm chosen? Why did interim CFO recuse herself from selection process?

Wozniak arrived late, during the comments.

Closed session is planned to last about an hour.

5/2 BoT Special Meeting Post 2

Meeting is called back at 8:52 by Chair Mazzochi.

All trustees present.

Entertain a motion to return to Open Session.

Item 6– For approval, President for COD.

Vice-Chairman Olsen speaks about the importance of the decision — choosing a new president. Acknowledges questions about the process and says he had some too. But it is too important to delay selecting a leader to take the College forward. If there were no qualified candidates, it would be possible to wait. But the Presidential Search Committee did find three qualified and excellent candidates.

Notes that there was chance for the college community and the public at large to ask questions and listen to the candidate.

Affordable, accessible education for the community. Individual to recognize the stakeholders and to lead the college to a better tomorrow. A visionary leader and a humble listener. I believe we have found a candidate with all the qualities.

Dr. Rondeau is such a candidate.

Motions to appoint Dr. Rondeau for the COD president.

Bernstein — seconds. Dr. Rondeau has been in an situation where she needed to turn around an institution where the stakes could not be higher. Reads from a statement from Admiral Mullins that describe her work in the Navy.  Discusses his confidence that she will be a listener.

Chair Mazzochi asks for Trustee comments.

Trustee Napolitano — was on the Search Committee. Notes that Dr. Ann Rondeau stood out for him throughout the entire process.

Trustee Birt — Comments on the process. I appreciate the amount of input from the public and understand the amount of work the Trustees have put in. Thank you for sharing all the information. I had family reasons for not being able to attend the recent meetings.

Wozniak- present

Birt -abstain

McGuire – Present

Chair Mazzochi — reads from the public feedback –overwhelming positive support for Dr. Rondeau. “She understands how COD has lost its way – her plan was the most practical of all candidates. Out of the box thinking. Willingness to make changes. She won’t squash good ideas. Calm but firm demeanor. Her idea of covenant leadership has been missing from COD for a long time. She understands that she needs to help those under her do their best. I liked her statement that a community college has an intimate relationship with  its community. She will put the institution before herself.”

I thank our community and vote yes. The motion passes.

Concent judgement in Berlin vs. BoT – COD District 502.

McGuire — The complaint voids nothing. Nothing changes as the result of this complaint. Our Counsel should have been vigorously defended. I will be voting no.

Escamilla- Abstain

Wozniak -no

Birt -no

McGuire – no

Mazzochi- yes

Napolitano — yes

Bernstein — yes

Motion passes.

Chair Mazzochi-  Thanks to the search committee who gave us your thoughts, hard work and dedication. I am excited that on the cusp of our 50th year we have the chance to once again show the community that we are the premier institution of higher education in DuPage County and beyond.

Motion to adjourn: Moved, seconded.

Motion passes.

9:10 Meeting is adjourned.

5/2 Board of Trustees Special Meeting Post 1

7:00 pm. Meeting is called to order by Chair Mazzochi.

Pledge of Allegiance

Roll call. Wozniak absent. All other trustees present.

Public Comments:

Keith Yearman, Professor of Geography

George Macht, Retired faculty of 34 years
Reflections on experience with David Sam. I worked with him when he was administrator of International Studies.I would like to talk about the long-term implications of his tenure here — David searched me out, and was instrumental in putting together US AID grant money for me to go to Costa Rica. That helped them develop guidelines for their tourism programs. David has had some long-term effects upon COD , staff, faculty and primarily students. He really stimulated me to do more global work. I had the opportunity to bring more than 20 groups of students to various countries. It helped us globalize our hospitality program. David’s  management style was facilitator. He did not manage. He told us the outcomes he would like to see, and let us figure out how to get to them. He relied upon the faculty and their expertise. He didn’t work here for a long time but he had a long lasting impact.
Beth Kane
One of the candidates has more experience, has more degrees, than the other two combined.  Only one candidate has experience with the HLC. One candidate has your COD student endorsement, based on the student newspaper. If being an attorney is important, there is only one to consider. Someone with union and collective bargaining experience. For these and many other reasons, you have one clear choice: David Sam.
Judy Wherly
Thank you to the current version of the BoT and the majority of 4 that seem to be working hard to move our school in the right direction. I feel hopeful that COD is on the right track. We want to keep our accreditation. Thank you for your long hours.
Dan Westlake
Universities and colleges need different kinds of presidents at different times. COD needs at this moment of its history: someone with an on-going familiarity and thorough background in the operations of community colleges. We don’t have time for a learning period. We need someone with energy and enthusiasm. Someone who listens to administrative staff, faculty, students and community members. Warmth of personality. Openness to work with all groups of people. Openness that fosters trust to bring people together in pursuit of a common goal. Awareness of specific actions to bring the probationary period to an end. We need somebody with humility and a sense of humor. I was here and listened carefully to all three candidates. I believe that only one has all the qualities essential to lead this college forward. David Sam.
John Kraft
I hope you guys thought long and hard and picked the right person who will do the job
In December 2013 I submitted my first FOIA, and now you’re here to pick a new president. I wish you luck. Thank you for sending in your statement of economic interest on time. Please make sure Wozniak gets his in. And then make sure someone reviews it for him.
Kirk Allen –
I trust your judgement on the president. Good luck.
During a past meeting you had an admission from Chuck Currier that records were destroyed w/o permission from the state. Will any action be taken against the person who destroyed those records in violation of the law?
Bruce Schmiedl assisted a Foundation Board member by providing misleading information to the state handling the prosecution and misleading information to the Board about this situation. Your interim president kept information from legal counsel of this school. Is any action going to be taken against these two individuals?
A 2014 FOIA request pertaining to any records destruction policy I was provided the 81-286 application for authority to dispose of local records. As you now know, an amendment to that application dated January of 2011 was withheld. In addition, Application #12-157 was not provided even though it was applicable to my request. Who is responsible for that information being withheld under my Sept 2014 fOIA request and is any action going to be taken against them?
Jan 8 2016 I contacted the states’ Attorney’s office and provided my complaint pertaining to the Open Meetings Act violation exposed by Brueder’s filing in the Federal courts. Clearly with tonight’s action on the OMA violation, it was clear the past Board violated the law. Assuming this item passes tonight, I am asking that the applicable portion of the closed session recordings be released so the public can hear for themselves the entire exchange that took place regarding Breuder’s contract matters.

I hope the College’s motion to dismiss Breuder’s case succeeds but part of me wants it to go to Discovery. Such Discovery will show that past Chairman David Carlin also violated the law by extending Brueder’s contract without any vote, open or closed. The past actions of so many people is what has harmed this institution, not the select few that got elected an appointed who are doing their best to fix the actions of others.

Miguel Marino–
I am upset Dr. Collins is not here today as I planned to say something to him. I want to thank him for all his work. He is a true servant leader and held COD together during a hard time. I don’t like speaking on behalf of people. I would like to change the I to “we” We thank you Dr. Collins for your hard work. We thank you very much.
Paul Lefort —
DuPage resident. I feel compelled to challenge the rash Brueder trustees about their comments regarding presidential candidates. Those trustees chose not to attend Board meetings and not to participate in the presidential search. voting now without ever interviewing the candidates without interviewing the candidates i the epitome of hypocrisy. There has never been a tiny hint of apology regret or acknowledgement of any responsibility from the Brueder era BoT members. they continue to use the media to further their agenda. Journalists who put forth those articles are not behaving like journalists. Back up in public debate your accusations with specific facts. Your attempt to drive away qualified candidates is noticed by all, but it didn’t work.
Richard Jarman – CODFA VP

Before I get to the main event, I wanted to reflect briefly on the last meeting where Buffalo Theatre Ensemble was brought back. Obviously we were delighted at the decision, although we recognize that there will be challenges ahead to meet the objectives. But I did want to commend the entire board for how the item was handled. While there were obvious differences among board members on some key issues relative to BTE, the discussion was reasoned, specific, courteous, and without the palaver that has accompanied so many discussions these past twelve months. With the ever watchful eye of Big Brother HLC on the college, this set a favorable example. And we don’t need 7-0 results; unanimity is not the objective. Argument is good; disagreement is good, provided it is conducted in the appropriate manner.

Talking of twelve months, events recede from my memory at alarming pace; I have become increasingly dependent on Facebook for its friendly little reminders of events past. This past Saturday FB reminded me that April 30, 2015 was when the former president was put on leave.

Which brings us to tonight and the selection of the next president. I think I can speak for all the faculty in saying that we are happy that the decision is being made sooner rather than later. What is there left to discuss, other than for you as the board to assess the responses on the forums, which I presume you have been doing, and now come to consensus.

In her Daily Herald interview, Chair Mazzochi identified the lack of trust between faculty and administrators as a big challenge, and that the new president will be instrumental in resolving this problem. I tend to agree that, while the regime is over, there is a tendency for some to still live in the past. From this day forth, the future begins. Whoever you select, as a representative of faculty leadership, I pledge to work with the new president for the greater good of the institution.

Thank you

Roger Kempa, COD class of ’72
Attended the Audit Committee meeting. Was allowed to speak.
Item 9 — recommendation for external audit services. This was not done in an open transparent matter. The recent audit selection is not commensurate with its size. This was a closed process. A committee comprised of college staff in financial affairs decided this selection. This is counter-intuitive and lacks common sense. They should know better. This is asking the fox to guard the hen house.  52 proposals were solicited. But the committee selected Crowe Horwath -. they have been here for some years now.
Glenn Hansen, CODFA President
The faculty of College of DuPage fully support and appreciate the decisive action being taken by the Board of Trustees to brig this process to a conclusion by meeting on Monday to select the next president of College of DuPage. This is the most important decision that can be made to move the College forward. We have had ample opportunity to provide input to the decision and appreciate the quick response by the Trustees. We have been in a state of limbo for far too long, the students and community deserve progress.
Public comments conclude.
Chair Mazzochi requests a motion to go into closed session. Motion passes.
Board goes into closed session.  Chair Mazzochi 45 minutes to an hour.

4/21 BoT Regular Meeting Post 3

Academic Committee Report –F/T faculty and P/T faculty and students on the committee met and discussed ways to improve communications between faculty and administration. Discussed Continuing Education.

We agreed that when a non-credit course is similar to something offered in an academic course, that the appropriate academic department review the course to avoid issues like the ones we have had.

Budget Committee Report — Napolitano reports on that. 6 payments next year? or no payments? If there are not 12 payments from the state we will have to spend down the reserve. The will of the committee is to bring down expenses to be the same as revenue. We would like guidance form the BoT about whether or not we can begin spending down some of the reserves.

Mazzochi — we do not want to raise tuition. We have different options or scenarios. You’re right, the target is to try to preserve our current reserves to the greatest extent possible.

Olsen — if we try to include 6 payments from the state, I can see being balanced between expenses and revenue. But if there are no payments from the state, we will have to spend down the reserve.

Mazzochi– discusses the impact of the reduction in state spending on other colleges downstate.

Napolitano — the committee will work to come up with several options. One will be to try to keep expenses flat. It seems that many colleges are assuming the best guess is 6 payments rather than 12, and that is what many colleges are planning on.

Mazzochi — we should have some projection of what would happen if we do not get any payments from the state. Should we or could we have a contingency plan?

Napolitano: 7 million dollars is bout what the 6 payments would represent rather than 14, or 12.  But zero is also a realistic possibility.

Mazzochi — is there a contingency about enrollment. I understnd it’s been pretty stable. Do we think that the HLC sanctions will have a negative impact on our enrollment.

Collins — it’s too complicated to say “this is why enrollment is up or down.” Enrollments across the state have been down. We are about 7 or 8 in the state in terms of enrollment. So far we haven’t seen an impact on teh HLC report on our enrollment.

Audit Committee Report — Bernstein, McGuire,  and Olsen (?) two CPAs. Jim Marnter our internal auditor does good work from everything I have seen. The internal audit points out things we need to look further at. Need to make arrangements for an outside auditor. Talked about Bot policy that was used to create the audit committee. We decided it was too wordy. More concise and not so specific. Bot policy 10 55, on investments. John Dishner headed our financial area on a temporary area, put together a rough draft of revisions of that policy. Being out of compliance with investment policies was a big area for being out of compliance with the HLC. We have made a lot of progress in that. We need to insure the safety of the surplus (the reserve) we just talked about. We have to protect it. We need to have our internal accounting controls  looked at form the outside. It’s important for the safety of the  school and the reserve. The firm CLA is being recommended to the BoT . A representative  John Hoffmeister, principal at the firm of CLA. Hopes to be appointed independent auditors of the College.  Trustee McGuire reported on her research and gave the committee lots of material to review. Discussed the proposed revision to Bot policy  5-220 also 10-55 on investments. Both of those are in the BoT packet for information purposes.

HLC Taskforce. Jim Bente comes to talk about the Accreditation Update.

Discussion Points: — offers background on the HLC. One of 6 regional peer review institutional accreditors. There are about 1000 institutions of higher education that belong. We review ourselves. It serves 19 states. Has a Board of Trustees. Bente gives more background on what the HLC is.

Five criteria and 21 core components.

HLC has three pathways- Standard Pathway (10 year cycle), Open Pathway (10 year cycle) and the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) 8 year cycle.


Mazzochi — Where will the documents be? Who will have access to the documents. How will they be organized within the college system.

Bente says his office will have all documents. They may go on-line.

Mazzochi — Criterion 2 — who is in charge?

Discussion ensues about how best to organize the materials. Whether or not there would be a need for new evidence, new documents? How to avoid duplication of materials and efforts to put together documents?

Mazzochi asks trustees — should we have something on the public website where we are collating all these documents? We can demonstrate to the public that these are where the documents are.

Napolitano – anything that increases transparency to the public.

Olsen – if it doesn’t reveal confidential material. But it would be good for the material to be building and not just appear towards the end of the period.Discussion of how to keep the public informed throughout the process.

Honors Program Presentation — The Honors Student Advisory Committee is going to report on the importance of this program which should not be forgotten during this transitional period.

Cody Castle, 23 years old COD student and resident of Bloomington. Describes how the Honors Program that provided necessary stepping stones for his success.  Asks for more support for the Honors programs.

Kotryna Statputye. Sophomore at COD. Talks about her experience at COD. Academics, sports, and leadership opportunities. Smaller class sizes, more research, heavy professor involvement are all features of the Honors program. It was the reason in her applying to and getting the 100,000 Dr. Pepper Foundation scholarship for tuition.

Nalia Asamoah — Honors student. Describes her academic experience, her experience with Honors Student Advisory Council, with professors, and the chance to conduct research. Notes the work of Helen Feng, Honors Director, to bring representatives of top universities to campus to meet with COD students. Suggests a centralized office and a central location for the program.

Josh Clayton. Member of Honors Students Advisory Council.  Honors classes helped him figure out what he wanted to study. The intersection of public policy and Biology. Describes chances to conduct research in environmental policy. Suggests more full-time staff to support the Honors program. The Advisory Council will be providing the BoT with a letter with suggestions.

Mazzochi thanks the students for their presentation.

Items for Board Information-

Consent Agenda

Mazzochi notes that she has been asked to withdraw 5B and Personnel 5K and in particular under termination and severance agreements. Withdrawn so that the person involved can go through an appeals process.

McGuire asks to withdraw 5D, 5F 5L and 5 O

Consent 5A, C, E, G, H, I, J, and K, except for last name under termination and severance. M, N and P.

Olsen moves.

seconded by Napolitano.

No discussion.

Napolitano reads the Consent Agenda items to be approved.

McGuire asks about the 5D- Budget transfer from contingency to professional services.  $500,000 from the contingency fund.

Mazzochi — looking at past trends from fiscal year. It is an estimate of how much we will need for legal fees.

McGuire– how much have we spent then? A million?

(That amount is confirmed by COD staff)

Vote: McGuire — no.All others yes.

Motion passes.

5F — Property tax Appeals Board. (PTAB) Representation.

McGuire– help me understand the PTAB scenario.

Napolitano — property tax– what the tax owner would be paying to COD.

Kim  (new CFO interim) — explains commercial, industrial appeals that are going on.

McGuire – what do we do about homeowners who appeal?

Kim — usually they get resolved much sooner than commercial.

Napolitano — Homeowners are usually solved much sooner, at the Assesor level.

Vote: Olsen — no. All others vote yes.

5L – Financial reports.

Motion to approve financial reports.

Olsen moves. Seconded by Trustee McGuire.


McGuire – 2 identical checks issued to William Hay. Why were there two in March for the same amount.

COD staff- will have to provide you with that information. I don’t have the check record for that.

Mazzochi — there was a budget cap for the presidential search — if you add that all up, he is at the cap.

4 pages of employee reimbursements — I’ve been looking them over. They are increasing. How is this related to the discontinued use of procurement cards.

COD staff- petty cash policy got tougher. We would like people to go through a regular process to get a check.

Olsen -a question on reimbursement process. Could we have additional level of detail o ntaht other than just reimbursement?

COD staff- that’s a question of time. Each reimbursement is approved by a Dean.

Discussion about how much detail would be advisable for that.

Vote: All trustees vote yes.

5O – McGuire doesn’t need any further discussion. The presentations explained it to her.

Vote — yes.

6 — Buffalo Theater Ensemble.

Mazzochi –Don Westlake? Still here?

Wants to address the public about BTE.

Westlake — this is my fifth time to address the BoT to bring back BTE. This time I want you to vote no. Not on the theater, but on the proposal that is on the website. I read that and saw an analogy with the restrictions we might put on a high jumper. First we set the bar higher than the high jumper has ever done before. Then the high jumper hasn’t been active for two years. Then we have to find 600 people who are willing to put their money in the pot. And then, if you don’t make it on your first try, you don’t get another try. Let’s vote no on a plan for failure and vote yes on a plan for success. The current high jumping technique is called the Fossberry flop. We don’t want a flop, we want a success.

Mazzochi– I want to emphasize to people that the BoT is willing to have the BTE come back to campus. The BoT is trying to find ways to make the program work. To see if the things that led to its prior departure could be fixed, so it has its own infrastructure and stand on its own. To be a stand-alone resident theater ensemble. We have an institutional concern as a Bot — we can’t take on one project here, and another one there, in an ad-hoc manner. We’ll end up with areas where we are concerned that other programs that are equally valid suffer because there isn’t funding.  The Arts programs we have, the MAC, WDCB, — they are trying to be very responsible with auxiliary function. More in line with enriching our community without taking away dollars from academic programs.  It is called an auxiliary function under the Higher Learning Commissison definition. While we are on probation we have to ensure that we are showing the HLC that we understand the difference between wants and needs and auxiliary function. It doesn’t behoove us as  BoT to show that we are not clear. It must be sufficiently tied to an educational purpose.  Academic program is not the same as auxiliary. We have to recognize that we are in trouble with the HLC because of things like SLEA. Have we set forth clear standards for what awards credit and what doesn’t. We have to be very cautious in how and where we tread. We must be 100% on board with HLC requirements. It is clear to me after attending the HLC conference — it is something that peer reviewers are careful. We must make sure that college resources are being directed in the right place. There are other arts organizations that would like to have these arts funding dollars. One of the HLS core components requires when we look at our institutional resources, are we being consistent. Will we apply criteria fairly and equally. I understand the basis for your concerns. Number one — it is not crafted as an academic program, with curriculum review. It is no continuing education. The Bot has shown its willingness to spend money on academic programs. What has been presented to us as an independent theater company that wants to be resident here, we must have some way of guiding our funding decisions for BTE, and the next arts program and the next one. And as far as “experiential” program, we don’t have a consistent program to discuss experiential learning. Maybe we have holes in our strategic planning in this regard. Maybe we need to work on this in our next strategic planning cycle We need from shared governance or administration, we need as a Bot to have some comfort that we will be equal. We heard that BTE has widespread support. We have a board with over 1000 signatures saying bring back the theater. It is not unreasonable to think that 60% of those community supporters would put forth $75 dollars to become members. We’ve received a flood of e-mail communication. If even 75% of those people who send 1o dollars — your fundraising goals would be met. We don’t think it is a particularly high bar to raise.

Also, administratively there were concerns about the programs before. So as a boT we have to be sensitive to adminisitrative support for the program. BTW is requesting  $130,000 dollars. We need to make sure that from your fundraising and ticket sales you will be coming close to that.  That is also an opportunity cost to the MAC to not have other revenue-driving shows in it. Trying to balance the position of the requestors and the administration, I believe this is a balance and compromise position. If you start lowering the bar I warn you that you will start to lose support from members of this board.  It might not help your future fund raising efforts if you only have a 4-3 vote to say yes to this.  We can be flexible about time, perhaps. But I want you to understand that this was the result of a thoughtful process of how this can work. It was not done with a snicker and a thought of how it could fail. I want people in the audience to understand this.

Bernstein= my feelings and thoughts on this are clear to some. The process and the resolution itself was created itself, thoughtfully, honestly, with the best wished for success. But I cannot agree with it. The bar impossible to overcome. I cannot agree that it is viable. One point of differnec- there is a greater educational component to Buffalo Theater than others do. Because of that I would like to set the bar at a reasonable level. The connection between BTE and educational value and enrichment of the students and the community is a tangible thing. There might not be credit or continuing ed courses built around the productions. But the educational benefit is there. Therefore I would like to call for a motion to amend this agenda item and replace it with an item that will make it realistic for BTW to have two years, a window of opportunity. During that time I would like to see attendance greater than 65 people per show. I would like to see 600 or more subscriptions. If the desire in the community is real, that ought to be achievable over time. Therefore I would like to replace the current agenda item with an amended agenda item. I have it on paper and would like to distribute it to each of the members of the Board.

Mazzochi — Substitution?

Bernstein — Substitution

Olsen- Second.

Bernstein — essentially the agenda item that was on our April 7th BoT packet. It ways — BTE would need 131,000 for the first year.  $250,000 for the first two years of operation. That’s what we’re looking at.

Second page — it was in the last BoT packet so you are familiar with it.

Year one 97,5000 donations  17,000 total   246,000

total for two years, 250,000

BTE will seek an Illinois non-profit status. That is legally necessary. 501C3

BTE will enter into a contract with COD for operating facilities at the MAC and use of any other COD facilities and personnel.

Bernstein presents more details of how this would work.

I hope that the BoT will agree to this so that we can reinstate BTE in Fall 2016 and commit to $250,000. After the two years, we will evaluate to see if the program can achieve 60% self-sufficient, 40% college.  If it cannot do that, I myself will lead the charge to end BTE.

substitution amendment.

Mazzochi — differences are — substitution guarantees funding for two years. differences in how many paid tickets will be required.

McGuire — any funding allocated by the BoT will first go directly to the MAC and student performers. but the 5th bullet points out the expenses that the BTE will be responsible.

Mazzochi-there is a possibility that is the MAC, if the BoT funding , if the charges by the MAC eat up the 130,000 dollars. That will be less money available to pay student performers. IT may very well be that the BTE wants a lot of student performances and they go over the 130,000.  Trying to prioritize which entity for accounting purposes is going to get reimbursed first. We would need an independent contracting situation between the college and BTW.

Discussion ensues about the details of the substitution.

Connie Canaday Howard is asked to come to the podium. Amelia Barrett joins her.

Canaday Howard- I think the HR concerns are addressed in the bullet points. Yes, this would work.

Olsen- Bernstein, did you review the proposal with the BTE people?

Bernstein– yes, Connie, Amelia, and Diana Martinez and I all reviewed it.

Olsen-this is the April 7th item with additional items to address the concern Mr. Kinsella had from the legal, IRS perspective. 501 SC, making clear that no additional employment relationships will come with the COD.

Mazzochi– making sure that the COD financial responsibility is capped.

Diana Martinez– this little change in the non-profit status is a lot of infrastructure for them to do in a short period of time. For me, how do I manage an outside entity working in our shop? There is quite a bit to work out. We can do that. We need a little time to work out those details. If they are comfortable with taking on the big job of starting a 5013C, I am comfortable with it.

Move to vote on the substitution– to close discussion on the motion for substitution.

All trustees vote yes except Mazzochi.

Vote on substitution:

Napolitano no, Mazzochi no.

Motion passes. Now the BoT will be dealing with the substituted document.

Olsen proposes that the fifth bullet point line 5 strike “out of ticket sales and/or donations.” It is an oversight. A drafting error. The language here says that the BTE is responsible for payment of these individuals, not the college.

Bernstein -what other sources of revenue would there be besides ticket sales

Olsen-grants and college funding.

Olsen –proposed amendment would allow the COD contribution to go for any expense.

Bernstein — you have sold me.

Mazzochi — you have not sold me. I am very concerned about that from a liability perspective.

Napolitano — could you include grants?

Mazzochi-Olsen wants college funding to go for other expenses. And I’m not comfortable with that.

Olsen- the college is making a contribution towards the success of the theater company.

Mazzochi- my concern is that if we allow the college to pay the non-profit 501 C3, we will be blurring the very lines we are trying to establish.
















4/21 BoT Regular Meeting Post 2

Chair Mazzochi calls the regular meeting called to order.

All trustees except Birt present.

Chair Mazzochi (speaks about her hopes for the future, for thoughtful, professional, measured, calm and respectful ways. We have high hurdles ahead, but also high hurdles already behind us).

Every member of this BoT and the college community has the chance to discuss with me sound policies and principles. Not all of us have the same vision. Let’s be respectful. But ultimately ground what we do in the best interest of the college.

I thank members of the community and the college who have taken the time to speak to me.

(speaks about her mother was a student when the college was in its infancy. Asks everyone to think where we were a year ago). We are well positioned to be in an even better place next year. We will continue to get better, Exciting way to start our 50th anniversary.

(notes that any of the three presidential candidates will be good for moving the college forward)

Discusses the presidential search. Notes the presidential forums for all three finalists. Also the Bot has received questions and has received incredible feedback.

The Bot believes it will be in a position to vote on the three finalists in the first week of May. All BoT members should engage in productive discussion with their colleague. Keep an open mind and keep in mind what the members of the public have to say.

Mazzochi then goes to the podium to present

Presentation to the BoT on the 3rd update– Board Response to the Dec 16 HLC Determination.

April 2017 is the deadline to sub mit the Assurance Filing that demonstrates compliance the HLC Standard Pathway Protocol. This means we are not in AQUIP.  It is not a punishment, but a more structured way to report to the HLC.

Go to the HLC website to see what the Standard Pathway means. There are more than 200 other colleges that are on the Standard Pathway and not AQUIP. It is not a punishment.

It is a legal brief that shows each of the 5 criteria are met.

Mazzochi shows a sample Assurance Filing. The sample is of one of the criteria where COD is not in compliance. (Criterion 2 — Integrity –Ethical and Responsible Conduct. Also Criterion 5 — only examples, to show COD BoT what the Assurance Filing should look like)

Moral story to take home from the HLC conference is that we need a culture of self

self-criticism, self improvement,. We can experiemt nad see what works. We need to demonstrate how we live to the mission. Tying our goals to the mission. Thinking about our core values and living them, showing them, not just saying them, every day. They want to see that we are systematic and objective when it comes to planning. We want data collection, wider involvement.

Where we are out of compliance — we have made incredible progress Investment policy — that has been completed. Bernstein, Olsen McGuire are the Audit Committee.

Failure to notify the BoT — Dr. Collins and Mazzochi have looked to increase communication and improve it.  IT is getting much better since November. Offers examples of recent problems that required prompt communication. We need a culture of inclusiveness and working together. We should be targeting to make sure that we get the Administration sooner.

Criterion 2, Core Component 2A . Strengthened internal controls.  More oversight on big contracts and conflicts. Suggests Bot members should have a refresher on the bid process. BoT has authorized Ethics training college-wide.

Discusses progress in Criterion 5, Core component 5B.

When the General Counsel position is filled, more progress. Strengthen “whistleblower” protections.

Kartje will present May 2016 Academic Affairs on the administration response to the faculty Vote of No Confidence.

Improvements — many new program approvals, much more thorough. Supporting documentation. This will help to ensure that things like SLEA do not happen again.

Discusses the areas that HLC considers “Meets with concerns” (not out of compliance) –cooperation and communications. Protecting academic integrity.


Action Plan for April 21, 2016:

Select new president.

Asks all Bot members to present goals for the next year at the May meeting.

Each Bot member to rank committee preferences.

Each trustees to identify 3 areas for policy improvement and 3 areas where we are doing well.

Each trustee to identify at lest 3 priorities to consider for strategic planning.

Each trustee to review in-depth assurance filing (sent by Dr. Collins this week)

Board ethics and governance training RFP issued

Board retreat to improve cooperation

HLC liason Barbara Johnson is invited to meet with the Bot in May to discuss status and goals.


Trustee Olsen — Thanks Mazzochi and Collins for attending the HLC Conference. Very important to have this connection. Is excited to meet with Barbara Johnson. We have 2 issues that are paramount — hiring the new president and making sure we are ready and the Assurance Filing will bring us off probation.

Mazzochi: All trustees had already discussing that what they need to focus on is the HLC report.

Student Trustee Report: Trustee Escamilla —  thanks Stephanie Torres for her work as ICCB Student representative. The new one is also from COD. Welcomes the new representative.

Thanks Trustee Mazzochi for joining the “lunch with leaders” as part of Student Leadership Council activities. Presents Joe Stahl to speak about Advocacy Day when community college students go to Springfield to advocate for bills that pertain to community colleges and higher education as a whole. It’s a great opportunity for us to transition our officers to their upcoming roles.

This ear of course the topic was funding. We narrowed down our issues to funding and credit transfer, and student success and credit for prior learning.

Generally we felt that the leaders were receptive and respectful.

Thanks Mary Ann Millush and Chuck Steele for driving the students to Springfield. A capstone for an amazing year that SLC has had in service of the students and the college.

President’s Report — updates on the 50th anniversary committee process. Also on WDCB station manager. And also recognize Steve Schroeder as Phi Theta Kappa advisor. Community College honor society.

Professor Steve Schroeder speaks to the Bot about the importance of groups like Phi Theta Kappa — and the Buffalo Theater Company — to COD. Speaks about the initiative to start a food pantry. Acknowledges Shannon Hernandez who is almost up to 20 years (Schroeder for 15) who has worked with me all the way.

Dan Bendert, station manager of WDCB comes forward. Has been here for 2 1/2 years. Collins acknowledges  past problems with the radio station.

Bendert presents on the station:

39th year of operation.

On the air 24/7.  365 live and local.

Cultural outreach– hundreds of thousands of listeners in the Chicago region.

Professionally staffed, but have students also. And many professional staff are COD alumni.

Student journalists. Also many community volunteers.

Works with community partners.

Promotes music education.

Audience — weekly around 170,000

More than 200,000 unique web audio listeners last year.

Ethically diverse audience — 25 to 30% Latino and African American.

Wide range of age. Many young listeners.

Booster tower now has now solved interference issues in Chicago.

Discusses how the radio is a powerful form of outreach for COD because many listeners are not part of the college community.

Presentation on the financials —

COD appropriations for WDCB — FY99- FY13   $625.632

FY 14   $362,754

FY15  $278,772

Percentage of expenses covered by WDCB is 83.5%, paid by COD $16.5

Largest source of revenue for WDCB — listener donations

COD appropriations have been going down, and he expects that trend to continue.

Expenses are flat.

Things that made this happen:

The WDCB antenna tower is a revenue stream that generates more than 150,000 annually for the station.

Special events.

Also, Bendert now does two jobs and reduced one position by taking them on.

Describes how he noted problems at the station by the previous engineer who was taking money from the station and is now no longer there. That former engineer is now indicted on charges of fraud. Still in litigation. We figured out that the problem existed within the walls of WDCB. We found that out and cleaned it up. We no longer have a full-time engineer. We have a part-time engineer.

Other administrative changes have brought down expenses and increased revenue.

No questions.

Joe Moore comes forward to update on 50th anniversary celebration committee.

More than 50 activities planned for the year, starting in July in. various communities.

Friday August 25th is the official opening to the public. Chicago Brass Transit. Official public kick-off.

Campus graphics will be installed over the summer and ready for fall term.

Sept 17 — annual food truck rally and Sunset 5K

Discussion of activities continues.

Napolitano suggests that the BoT gets involved in these events. Asks for a sign-up form.

Mazzochi asks about donating a 50th anniversary t-shirt, pin, hoodie, for incoming students.

Moore: There will be a t-shirt day with free t-shirts with a tie-die theme.




4/21 BoT Organization and Regular Board Meeting Post 1

Acting Chair Mazzochi calls the meeting to order. Part A. Organizational meeting.

Roll: Trustees present except Birt.

Public Comments:

Jacob Coates: I am here for Buffalo Theater — you can tell by my dyed hair what I’m here for. It’s important. I don’t  have a lot of skills besides theater — but I feel passionately and strong about theater. The art of story-telling. Our heritage. It is life itself. We need to breathe life into it. I’m just saying words. Maybe you don’t even care about. But they mean something to me and I think they should mean something to you. Many people have come out and more would be here if schedules hadn’t conflicted. We need theater.

Angela Aiello. I was a theater student at COD form 2009-2011. Had Buffalo Theater experience in summer 2009. A friend of mine and I went to see the play “A Couple of White Chicks Talking aBout”. We couldn’t believe these two talented actors, Connie Canaday Howard and Amelia Barrett, would be our teachers.  As a reader for a play, I realized how hard directors have to work. It helped me understand the man Having a professional equity theater on campus wouldn’t benefit campus doesn’t make sense to me. In order to work with an Equity Theater would have to commute to the city. Not impossible, but very difficult with school and work. It is great to have a professional environment here. We loved seeing our teachers on stage doing what they love.  So many times theater majors are told they do not have a career in theater. Seeing that Connie and Amelia having a career was inspiring to us. Bringing back Buffalo

Anthony Leyva -2010 COD alum. I am in support of Buffalo Theater Ensemble. I am confused by the brand new theater that has unobtainable numbers attached to the new proposal.   600 subscribers is a high number. (Student goes on to describe how the new proposal for subscribers and grants is not feasible. He notes that collaboration is the basic tenet of theater. But this proposal has no sign of collaboration in it)

Mary Ann Zlotow — retired faculty and 502 taxpayer. At April 14th mtng I heard comments from BoT members I heard terms that bothered me.  Calling the COD Farm, the Buffalo Theater, etc. were called “auxiliary” and told that they need to be self-sustaining.  What is auxiliary is the waterfall! Part of an expensive beautification project . The bronze cast sculpture of a chapparral. The number of trees and the decision to continue planting annual and not perennial flowers. Those are auxiliary and not self-sustaining. Case in point — the library’s cupola. Now you have to fix a problem that wasn’t even a problem before renovation. Case in point — the hotel. More taxd dollars in advertising to make it self-sustaining. I take issue with the provost of Roosevelt U ho says these improvements have made COD unquestionable better. They have come at the cost of taking away the arts. You could maintain the Community Farm and the Arts. They are far more important to the campus than the waterfall.  How ironic to renovate the Arts Center and then cut back the Arts. I hope more community member will speak out and help this BoT understand that the Arts are worth fighting for. That’s how I want my money spent.

Walt Zlotow — community member. “All things pass- only the arts endure.” Except at COD!

John Kraft- Wozniak and Birt voted for all those frivolous items just mentioned. And others. Please nominate people that participate in the BoT as the next officers of the Board.

Richard Jarman, CODFA VP

Item B6. I think we have made clear where the faculty are on this. I am not going to repeat any of the arguments at this juncture. I will address the description of BTE as a non-academic program and thus an auxiliary function. From prior discussion, here and elsewhere, I detect a lack of consonance as to what constitutes connection to an academic program. We argue, and I think it has been sustained, that BTE (just like its predecessor) meets the standard for being considered academic or having an academic connection.

In the limited time I will describe two examples from disparate areas of the college that I argue are analogous to BTE, each of which is unarguably connected to an academic function and, as such, financially supported. I will not touch other more controversial functions that have tenuous or even no academic connection.

The Russell Kirt Prairie on the west side of campus is often described as an outdoor laboratory used extensively by biology classes. I often see groups of students boldly venturing into the thigh-high grass. It is also of value to the community, being one of the few prairie areas still remaining in DuPage County. No revenues are generated and costs are involved; it is not self-sustaining. We lamented its neglect during the last regime. Would the world still turn if, in the words of the song, paradise was paved over and they put up a parking lot? Yes. Would students still get to pass biology? Yes. However, resources such as the Prairie make COD special, as the presidential candidates have been at pains to point out.

The Fitness Center was transformed from a modest room into a lavish showpiece during the referendum rehabs. It serves a dual function for students taking fitness classes and community members wanting to work out. The community memberships don’t go far in covering the costs. I seem to recall there are around two hundred. The Fitness Center relies heavily on the taxation of $1 per credit hour.

BTE is much more closely aligned with these hybrid academic – community functions than a true auxiliary. It is not the academic program in of itself, but it plays a vital role in augmenting and energizing the academic program to which it is allied (theatre). It also plays a vital role to sustain the community as has been made abundantly clear by the many testimonials. And I believe that the community is prepared to put their money where their mouth is in pledges and subscriptions.

I urge you all to consider it in this spirit.

Thank you

Kyle Rarick – community member, former COD student. In Spring 2014 I was a student who signed the original petition to bring back BTE. I was involved in videos that were made to support the BTW.

You have the opportunity tonight to do something spectacular for this campus and for all of the Chicago region. But I am concerned about the draft proposal — the BoT describes conditions that the BTE must fill. This draft was not prepared together with BTE professionals. They do not fit BTE’s current model nor its overall history in the college. The 3rd time since Fall 2015 pleading and fighting for BTE. In order for BTE to have success, the BoT should be involved in one to one conversations with the professionals involved with the company.Theater is not veneer. It cannot be measured in that way. IT has different kinds of lasting impressions and memories on us.

Keith Yearman–












Trustee Diane McGuire — speaks to the best president for COD. The best president will not be appointed as the result of a tainted search process. I have spoken about it.

Dr. Kavalier — her EdD form U of Texas has somehow morphed into a PhD as listed on her application. These two degrees are very dissimilar. So I ask which degree does Kavlier have?

Dr. Rondeau — what is not on the page rather than what is.  Her current employment — IBM Watson group. Artificial Intelligence. I came across Dr. Rondeau’s Linked In profile. Partner with Allen Austin Global leadership and consultants.  IBM is her previous employment. At IBM, she is a consultatn and not a partner.  IS she working at a search firm that also has an office

Union League Club of Chicago. Boasts as members Chris Robling and Willam Haye are Board members. How does one do this long distance? Does she have an Illinois address? I don’t know for sure where she works or where she lives.

We have a a very important role as Bot members to have an honest and transparent process. We have the opportunity to do our own search and do our own research.

Trustee Mazzochi — If you had come to the interviews of these two candidates or submitted your concerns your questions would have been answered. I also offered you the chance to personal conversations with these candidates. Dr. Kavalier did confirm that yes, her doctorate is considered to be a PHD. In Educational Administration.

Dr. Rondeau — I find it appalling that you are impugning the integrity of someone who is by all measures is a national hero and has served her country. She has been contacted by newspapers because of your allegations. Dr. Rondeau says your allegations are confused. She explained to us that her employment with IBM.  If being part of the Union League of Chicago would preclude being president that would include Dick Durbin and Barack Obama.

You should seek the information from those sources.

We are aware of your concerns about the process. We have supplied you with the information but you continue to hold your view. Had you come to forums you would have seen how the public was grateful for the chance to participate and see that the college is now on a road to change.

If you had gone to the Presidential Search Committee meetings, people who gave hundreds of hours of their time to the process, you would

McGuire -there are inconsistencies.

Mazzochi rules her out of order.

Wozniak tries to respond. Chair Mazzochi rules him out of order.

Recognition– Resolution of Appreciation for Student Trustee Roark for her service. Donating in her honor to the library the book “Things Fall Apart.”

Acting Chair Mazzochi reads the resolution.

Roll: All Trustees present vote yes.

Acting Chair Mazzochi — announces the appointment of Luz Elena Escamilla as of April 15th, by operation of law. She is already making substantive contributions to our discussions.

Board Secretary  Napolitano conducts the swearing in of Student Trustee Escamilla.

Acting Chair Mazzochi — We will move into the election of officers.

Acting Interim President Collins convenes and serves as Chairman Pro Tem until the new officers have been elected.

Napolitano — Acting Secretary while the meeting is going on. Calls roll. There is a quorum.

Entertains nominations for Chairman-

Olsen — Deanne Mazzochi. (Describes the difficult situation that Mazzochi faced when Kathy Hamilton resigned)

No further nominations are named. From April 2016 till 2017.


McGuire answers “present.”

Wozniak answers “present.” All others say “yes.”

New Chair is Deanne Mazzochi.

Nominations for Vice-Chairman

Mazzochi suggests David Olsen. Discusses how helpful been, even while being new.

No further nominations.


Wozniak: No.

McGuire “present”

All others vote yes.

New Vice-Chair is Olsen.

Nominations for Secretary.

Mazzochi nominates Napolitano.

No further nominations.


McGuire “present.”

Wozniak: “present.”

All others vote yes.

Napolitano is Secretary.

Vote for treasurer. VP of Adminstrative Affairs

Discussion of BoT meeting dates.

Mazzochi discusses the possible need for more meetings as the HLC issue continues. Mazzochi will try to get Board packets together earlier. Wants to have more information more in advance so that regular BoT meetings are run more efficiently.

We can have substantive policy discussions at Committee as a whole meetings.

Vote: All trustees vote yes.

Authorized Bank Signatures — to agree with new officers of the BoT.


All vote yes.

Organizational component of the meeting is over.

Brief 5 minute break.



4/20/16 David Sam Candidate Forum

Acting Chair Mazzochi calls the meeting to order.

Pledge of Allegiance.

Notes that BoT will follow up on all questions, but some may need to be addressed in closed session.

Notes that the BoT would like feedback on all proceedings.

Co-moderator Professor Glen Hansen introduces the evening’s candidate, Dr. David Sam.

Dr. Sam thanks audience. Adds to his bio that  1988-1990 he was a faculty member at COD. That was very important to me.

My vision for COD — I am going to disappoint you. That statement is incomplete. I do not have any input from students, faculty and staff at the college. How can I have a vision for this college without input from these segments and the community? I have an incomplete vision to talk about.

But I will talk to you about building blocks for this vision so at least I will try to talk while recognizing at I don’t have anything yet from you.  I need information from students as to what should be in the vision and to underscore why I am saying it is incomplete — this college has its own institutional philosophy. (Reads from COD’s mission ) COD has a shared vision. I want to talk about a shared vision, not my personal vision (reads again from COD’s mission statement)

I have a couple of proxies that will help me come up with a vision. I looked at the COD student newspaper, the Courier, where it talks about what students wants from a new president.

Should have experience working in higher ed.   I have 30 years in higher ed. I have close to 20 years now as college president. So yes, i am someone with experience.

(Continues to read from student editorial in the Courier)

“Must have glowing recommendations from previous employers.”  I extend to you the invitation to contact any member of the Elgin BoT. I recognize that presidents must collaborate with the Board. I have done that at Elgin for the last 9 years. We have achieved some fantastic things. For example the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found us, because of parameters we set up, and we were able to achieve certain things.

I was trained as  diplomat. I have tact and diplomacy. People form the Fletcher ? School of diplomacy go out and solve things.

“Must retain a good relationship between us and faculty.”  Hello students (waves at students) I will get in your face! I will go bowling with you. I will see you at basketball games.  Call Elgin and talk to the students. They know me. I’ve shown up at all places where they have events.  Btw, I have heard you have a wonderful softball team. (Calls out to the softball and basketball coaches).

“Students should feel like they know the president or at least know what he or she looks like.”

Students and faculty should feel like they can approach the president.”  I am approachable.

“Students should feel that their opinions are considered.”  I want to establish a relationship with you and get your input.

“The president needs to be active in the COD Community.”  Oh boy, I do not watch t.v. I am in the community all the time and I love it.  Our name is COMMUNITY college. You will see me in the community.

“The president is to really care about students and faculty.”  I have some supporters here tonight — Professor Emeritus Edwin Thomas, just retired from ECC –(calls out to Professor Thomas who is in the audience)

“One thing we don’t have to worry about — they are going to determined they are entering a school with some serious problems that need to be resolved immediately. Probation is one of them.” Yes, that is a serious matter.  Probation is a serious thing and should not be at COD, which stands for College of Distinction.

It’s not a one-shot deal, solving probation — we need to change the environment here.

“There must be trust. Honesty, trust and forgiveness.” The first thing the new president must do is earn back our trust.

I’ve read many of the stories.  Hopefully students I would not keep you waiting too long for that. It is important to regain trust.

Here is another proxy — the resolution by faculty.  (refers from faculty vision for the new president)

I am modest. I am not going to say that I am the paragon of honesty and integrity. Go instead to hear from the colleges where I have worked and ask them. I will sign off for anybody to review my personnel file.

“Treat all members of the college and community with respect.”

“Have the courage to remove ineffectual leaders” I have done that before.

I am seeking input for you already for the shared vision.

“Foster excellence in academic programs.”

I am going to tell you some of the things that are going to be very important in putting together this shared vision. COD wants to be the primary college for district residents.

Mission — it is ok. COD “will be a center of excellence for teaching, learning and cultural experiences for this district by providing affordable, accessible and comprehensive education.”

Shared values — also part of this vision. integrity, honesty, respect and responsibility. These will all be part of the shared vision.

And finally, institutional philosophy. “COD believes in the power of teaching and learning.” COD embraces excellence. Everything it should do will be excellent. COD values diversity. I will add to that.  Inclusion and equity are part of diversity. We must have that. COD believes in the participation of everyone in the planning. COD believes that the college will be of value to students and the community.

As the president , we will rededicate ourselves to the primacy of teaching and learning. As the president, we will make sure that the students that come here achieve their dreams. As the president we will rededicate to forming partnerships in the community with governmental agencies, to a higher level, rededicate ourselves to partnership with K-12 so more and more students will be ready when they get to this campus. Rededicate to students coming here seamlessly and seamlessly transferring.

My vision will have a few more things. Every student that leaves here will be as good or better than any student that graduates from any other community college. They will be as good or better than the students who started at four-year institutions. We’ll make sure that when employers are talking about their best employees, they talk about COD graduates.

The status quo will not be acceptable. We have to change things. I will work with every single person affiliated with the institution to achieve that we move COD to the next level.

It will be the new era. The new era of COD, College of Excellence. We have to get our SWAG back, in the language of the millennials. We have lost it a little bit.

I’ll stop there so you can ask questions.

Question: What are the three non-career accomplishments that you are proud of?

DS: 3 directly related to COD. When I was here, my daughter was born. That is an accomplishment. She is a 26 year old lady. Her name is Michelle.

I became a citizen of this great country when I was working here at COD. That is not so easy. You don’t just walk into that.  I still have the card I got from people here congratulating me on getting citizenship.

I finished my doctoral degree while I was here at COD. I had to defend it shortly after I left here. That is an accomplishment!

Question: Why did you leave COD? Why do you think you are the best person to leave the college today in spite of its problems.

I left City Colleges of Chicago and was fortunate to land the position here at COD. I loved it. Shortly after I left City colleges, my supervisor at CC went to Michigan. She called me and said “I have a position here, Dean of Sciences”  I told her I didn’t want to leave. A year later she called again and said David that position is still open. It looks like you. Then she asked me — what will you be doing in 6 years? I told her, I will be tenured, I’ll still be enjoying my classes at COD.  She said no, in 6 years, you’ll be a college president. I had never thought about this. I thought that seemed interesting. And so I applied, went there, and left COD. When I left COD, the reception I had when leaving was such that I said to myself that I hoped to have the opportunity to return to COD some day. I went to Michigan for 2 years. Then she left Michigan! So she called and said, “David, I have a position that looks like you. VP of Academic Affairs.” So I followed her there. And as she said, 6 years later, I became a college president!

30 years of community college experience. 20 at a presidential level. 4 years as chief academic officer. One year as Acting VP for Business and Finance. one year as Acting VP for student services. the last 9 years reporting to a Board. Also, but don’t start joking, I am also a lawyer.

I think my credentials, experiences and my understanding of Illinois — I understand what is happening here. My affinity for this College — I started my career here. All these things make me a good candidate.

Question: You used to work here. What if you found that former colleagues had been involved in wrongdoings?

DS –The college is bigger than any one person. Any former colleagues, if there has been any wrongdoings, we will correct them. If they are criminal — they will come for you and you will be gone. I am an officer of the court here, as an attorney, so I have an extra layer of things I have to do. If there have been wrongdoings, I will make sure they are addressed.

Question: Describe at least t3 steps you would take to improve t  COD with our district and improve our relationship

Engagement. We have to engage the community. Hear them out. I would go on the road and go to different organizations. I would go firsthand to solicit ideas. Put out my own ideas about how to earn the trust of individuals. There is fence mending, healing that we need to do. We must involve everyone in that process of earning trust that we have lost over a period of time. We will do the right things, and do them right. The community will see that there is a change in what we do and gradually we will be able to build the trust that has been eroded. There will be transparency. We will put out information. People will see a big difference with me as president.

Q: What do you think about the proliferation of adjuncts in higher education?

DS- Adjuncts play a very important role. In the 70s we used to talk about 70% full time, then it changed, and now there are many places where more than 50% are taught by adjuncts. Adjuncts are very important for what we do. But even if we had all the money to hire full-timers, I would insist on hiring adjuncts. They bring something to the classroom that is fresh. They bring things that happened right at work that day. They are a conduit for job opportunities for our students. We have to work hard to maintain a good and healthy balance between f/t and adjunct faculty.  We need to develop curriculum, create programs, things that adjuncts do not have time to do. We must have a balance. They are two groups, but they are really one group. They deliver all instruction.

Q: What have you done at ECC to deal with the budget impasse, and what would you do differently at COD?

DS– It is an illusion that if the budget impasse could be solved everything would be better. We would not have the money to do everything even if the impasse were solved. So let’s look at the budget as if we were at our own kitchen table — imagine if we are 7,000 in debt. We are hungry, frustrated. In the mailbox we have another 2,000. We know that. We don’t even want to go and open up the mailbox.  And we haven’t even included credit cards in that debt. Let’s say that the credit card debt is 10,000.  Then you look at your checkbook and see you have only 100 dollars.

The impasse is important, but let me talk a little bit here about this. This fall many students are going to make a decision about which institution are going to. They know about our state budget. How many students are going to decide go out of state? And if they go, will they come back? We have invested in them K-12. but they won’t be here to help improve their communities.

At Elgin, we put a freeze on travel. We looked at vacancies — some will be eliminated, some deferred, some filled. We have to decide. But we have to increasingly going to have to take drastic actions. We need to minimize the impact. The worst thing that could happen is losing money from the state and then we lose students. Students have to realize we are still there and still offer excellent education. If there is any parent in the audience listening — come on down. We have great faculty. We are still standing. The heart of what we do, student success, is being preserved.

Q — Have you been on record as criticized or praising any practices of COD and maybe implementing them?

DS -I may not know all the facts about the situation, but I know that what has happened here has impacted on all community colleges in the state. So I may have contributed comments on what has impacted on all of us in the state.

Q -What do you consider for COD to approach the upcoming HLC review?

DS – There are multiple pathways now. The pathway is to work with students and to provide them with The standard pathway is default. You have to work your way back to the next level. I have a document addressing the HLC challenges and what COD could do to address them I have looked at what has been developed in the community. You can write a lofty report, but what is happening on the ground is the most important thing.

One thing I would do is to meet with the HLC, to underscore the seriousness. To show them we are serious in addressing them. The HLC is in town. We should visit — a couple administrators, faculty, students. We should go dialogue with them about their report.

We need to have people who will be able to execute it well.

Q: As a president, please recount the most significant philanthropic gift and what was your role?

DS_ At ECC I am on the Foundation Bd. Assets were at barely 3 million when I came in. Now they are almost 6 million. I worked with the Foundation staff. We worked a team together to make things possible.

Chase has given us in excess of 26,000 a year for several years for our bridge program for college readiness.

The Foundation has been very successful.

Q — What innovative academic programs have you implemented at ECC and what would you bring here?

DS- Every student wants to achieve their dreams. The buildings are important, but not as important as achieving the dream.

To be a Leader College — we were made one in 2012, we started in 2009, then we got renewed in 2012. We used data to make decisions. We look at student performance and work on different things. This past year, more people graduated from ECC than ever before. We are ahead of what we had planned for 2020!

The achievement gap exists between white and African American and white and Latino students — it’s a national problem. At ECC, it’s significant between white and Latino students. The Gates Foundation came to see what we had done in order to address the achievement gap as well as we did.

Alliance for College Readiness -working with kids K-12. Working to make sure that more and more kids are college ready when they start. We know that students who come in at the developmental level, they are less likely to succeed.

Q: You have a hiring freeze at ECC. Physics, Astronomy, and other disciplines have not had a new hire in 10 years.

DS- It has never been brought to my attention as president because we have a healthy balance between full and part-time faculty. We can cover the classes with what we have.

But looking at Math and English areas, I saw that the ratio was overwhelmingly skewed towards adjuncts. So 2 years ago working with the ECC community I proposed to have 2 new math and 1 English faculty in one year, then 2 new English and 1 new math. This year, only one new position was filled, and that was in math. Now we have put 5 unfilled position on hold till the time that we are able to address the financial challenges. Yes, we may not have good ratios in some areas, but we have some that are being addressed at this time.

Q – Describe areas where you have been a turn-around agent at institutions and what strategies would you apply.

DS- AT Houston I have been told I did well. At Elgin we made changes. When I go there, I held meetings with many many groups. I asked, if you were to conduct a survey at a college in this state, would Elgin be mentioned among the top 5. I got the answer, “no.” But today if you conduct that survey in this state, Elgin would be among the top 5. We just got a report that stated that. We could do the same thing here. We are an excellent institution. We have great faculty, I know that. I will work with faculty directly. I will work on student success. Retaining them, graduating them. Awards, recognition, great. But graduation is my biggest turn around. More people have graduated from ECC these 9 years than in many more previous years. That is very important.

Student success is what we should be about. Whatever dimension we look at, student success should be up there. Students come here for that.

How do administrative and faculty structures differ here than at EDD

Faculty do not put much input into tenure process. The HLC says that should happen. We need to make sure that faculty has a strong input in the tenure process of their peers.

Curriculum — let’s face it – it is owned by faculty. Faculty need to make their recommendations for programs that need to be shepherded. Those are big ones. We need to have a cultural shift. Cultural shifts happen. We can do that. We will be joining colleges that have been doing that for many years. I will ask faculty and administrators that you think are great and let’s look at how they handle the tenure and the curriculum process.

Question: Discuss you criteria for hiring full-time faculty and the characteristics you look for.

DS_ I want passion. Passion for learning. A faculty member has a much more difficult job than faculty at selective colleges. We have students at very uneven level of preparation. Faculty have to be supportive of this. I ask a new faculty member for anything innovative you have done. What is your experience with diverse students? If you are unable to describe anything innovative, then we will have a problem. I also want to hear your passion for your academic area. What have you don’t too show you are committed to student success at an institution? I want you to do anything to make sure that this student succeeds. It doesn’t mean you have to lower the bar. In fact it means you have to raise the bar.

As if we were training someone to go to the Olympics — we can get up early and train with you, we provide you with all the support, through use of technology or other means, to get over the bar, but when you have to jump over the bar, you have to do it all by yourself.

Tutoring services are important. I tell students that they need to use tutoring.

I want a faculty member who believes in the support services the institution has to offer -tutoring, etc.

Faculty have to have a passion and to take risks, and work with colleagues to advance our discipline. That’s why we need colleagues to opine on the tenure process.

Q: Have you participated in union negotiations? What is your process?

DS – Yes, in spring of 1990 I was here at COD and we took the vote to see if we had a faculty union. I was part of that.

In Michigan there were 5 bargaining units. In Michigan, I worked with the union on many issues, MOU, settling disputes, grievances. I became VP and was the point person for the college when it came time to negotiate.

I worked with union leadership in Houston. In Elgin we have a faculty union, a _ union, and the IBEW with some electricians. The BoT usually wants me to be outside of the process rather than in the middle of it. I am in the back room providing support for the process. As an attorney in law school I got a good idea of the value of unions in an institution. I am fully competent to deal with union issues.

Q – How does your educational philosophy transfer into your governing philosophy?

DS – You can tell, I was born and raised in another country. I came here as a high school exchange student in Eureka Illinois. After my exchange student period, i had to go back to my country for two years. Then I came back. Then I wanted to make something of myself. I wanted to be a basketball player and play for the Chicago Bulls. I looked at my DNA and said, it ain’t gonna happen. Then I decided to go into education, something i care deeply about.

I believe strongly in education and what it can do for a person. What it can do for a person. Education did it for me. I am committed to working with every single person, anyone who believes they can benefit from an education. I can’t do that alone — that requires a team. Shared responsibility.

If I am the president I have a requirement of every employee-  bring your A game every day. That day you don’t have your A game with you could be the day you turn someone off.

Why should I expect anything less than your A game?

We will share in responsibilities knowing that every day we bring our A game.

Our institutional goal is excellence.

Q: We have faculty and students who are from your district — what would you do to make sure that ECC stays afloat?

DS- First, if I am president, I will move back to the district. We have a solid foundation at EDD. The college will move forward. We have a wonderful Bot. I told my Board chair before I submitted my application that I was doing this. They are all strongly in support of me. We have outstanding individuals and programs that are at the heart of the college, ECC will continue to be successful At the time I went there, ECC was an outstanding institution. We didn’t have the data to back it up. We worked hard, the data was seen by people and we were recognized.

Q: Discuss how you view the importance of diversity, equity, multiculturalism, equity

DS – The COD philosophy has diversity. So is equity and multicultural. I like that you already have those in your mission.

Appreciate, include and utilize the talents of everyone that we have. It goes beyond ethnicity. It is social economic background, gender. There is strength in that. It is a way of life.

The most democratic form of higher education is the community college. The doors are open to all. We have to make sure that is the situation at COD and embrace it. We must seek people from diverse areas to add to the richness of the institution. So that students feel that they belong here. Are part of the institution. That is what diversity, inclusion and equity is. Equity recognizes that some people are disadvantaged form the beginning. You must do something to being them to the starting line.


We need to have college graduates to maintain our standard of living. No one group can meet that goal./ Every conceivable group must help us get there. We must embrace and utilize it.


Paul LeForte -If I were to go talk to the BOT chair at ECC, “describe to me Dr. Sam’s style of management — what else besides enthusiasm would they say?

DS  Inclusive, bring people to the table, resolve issues, provide leadership to move forward, am even-tempered.  From the book “Good to Great Leader” I would be a level 5 leader.

Modest, have students at heart, get the job done. They will miss me but I have their blessing. Moving beyond support, I have their support.

Karin Evans, English faculty member-Good evening, my name is Karin Evans. I am a member of the English faculty and I have been teaching developmental writing here for 13 years. During this time, I have experienced the value of working alongside counselors who are integral members of the faculty.  In recent years, the number of counseling faculty at COD has declined, although in my classrooms, I have seen an increase in students with needs for counseling support, for mental health issues, assistance making career and transfer decisions, managing multiple placements in developmental coursework, etc.  Help me understand how you have addressed these needs at ECC and what you feel is the ideal approach to providing effective counseling service to students in an open-admissions college with many first-generation college students, and many academically and socio-economically at-risk students.

DS- The most embarrassing questions are heard at ECC from community members, from many years when I was there — when are you going to do something about counseling. We knew there were challenges. Our reports had minutes from our counseling department they recognized that there were challenges that they could not be addressed. It became clear that there would be no changes. We were asking for counselors to come to this millennium. We were in a situation were records were not being kept. Students went to see a counselor and there was no record of the transaction after that. So we kept talking and probing. Then I was told that maybe we should bring in a consultant. We brought one in, he did a study, met with a lot of people. Came up with a report saying that today there are multiple approaches to guiding students in college. There is the advising model and the counseling model. At ECC we chose to go with the Advising model.  Were able to hire more advisors. We hired a couple professionals who were able to help with wellness, social, mental and health issues. One comment  I read related to our accreditation — I have been here for 3 years and haven’t met with a counselor. But now in my last term I have an advisor. Why couldn’t you do this earlier.

I would have to see what are the challenges here. I would have to understand those challenges to address what you are talking about.

Session over. Chair Mazzochi thanks audience and Professor Hansen acknowledges the selection team. Asks committee members to stand up.


Mazzochi reminds everyone that the BoT asks for feedback from everybody and refers them to the website where feedback can be submitted.

8:30 Board of Trustees meeting is called to order.


Trustees Mazzochi, Olsen, Napolitano, Bernstein, Student Trustee Escamiila,

Absent: Birt, McGuire, Wozniak

Public Comments: No public comments.

Next item: Closed Session begins.

No action will be taken following the closed session. Bot will adjourn after the closed session.

So moved. Roll call — unanimous.

BoT closed session begins.