As you know there was a meeting of the Board of Trustees Academic Committee today in this very room. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend personally as I was committed to meet with Barbara Johnson of the Higher Learning Commission andthe Faculty Senate to discuss progress in the removal of COD from its probationary status. I am sure I am not mistaken in asserting that all constituencies in this college hold the removal of the stain of probation as a consummation devoutly to be wished.
One of the agenda items for today’s meeting was “impediments to teaching and learning.” CODFA leadership conducted a survey of the membership to solicit their opinions. We are interested in issues both within the college and the outside world that impact the progress of both instructors and students. A summary of key issues identified was presented at the meeting today.
It is not my intent here to discuss any of those issues but I did think it an opportune moment to encourage this board to consider what it might be able to do to advance the interests of this college in the legislative realm and in the political arena in this state. The ongoing budget impasse has wrought havoc on higher education in particular. This cannot continue. Our Association through its union is actively pressing lawmakers. But we are just one constituency. This threat to the stability of higher education impacts everyone.
State Representative Peter Breen takes credit for his role in legislation motivated by the toppled regime. He has praised the new board members for their roles. All good. But that is in the past. I would like to ask him what, if he values this college and its students as highly as he ought, will he advocate for to promote its interests to make it stronger in the future and protect it in these financially uncertain times. What might you do in this regard?
There are consequences for our actions or inactions. I have called for the resignations of ALL who contributed to this black mark on our College. This certainly applies to the 3 Breuder Trustees, who never said no to him and to this moment support him, and any administrator who can’t find the courage to own their mistakes. Only Joe Collins has offered an apology to the College Community. For some an apology will not excuse the lack of judgement. Time has run out.
People have been hurt by the Breuder legacy as rendered by HLC, careers have been or will be hurt. We are all accountable for our actions and can’t blame others for the choices we willingly make. It was a good party but it’s time to leave. You blew a really good thing.
Chicago Tribune: College of DuPage gets 2 years of probation from accreditation agency
Back in the day, pre-BB (BBB if you prefer), the MAC Arts Center was characterized by the presence of thriving faculty-led ensembles in a variety of disciplines. They worked well because they were run, surprisingly enough by faculty members, whose combination of artistic prowess and knowledge of education, meant that students and the community benefited from their existence. Oh, and I don’t think they were expensive to run either.
With the ascendance of the regime in 2009, these ensembles, along with other initiatives championed by faculty members (Community Education Farm anyone?) did not prosper. No need to belabor the sordid nature of their departure here. The last to go was Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, which had valiantly soldiered on through the refurbishment of the MAC by setting up a temporary stage in the commissary of the K building. (Sidenote: the New Philamonic was forced to cancel its season in exile because of drop-off in attendance.)
How ironic then that, when the grand reopening of the MAC occurred with Jim Belushi amid all that pomp and circumstance, a former COD student whose name is attached to scholarships for theatre students at COD, the curtain was lowered on BTE.
The community and former students ensured that the BTE did not go gently into the COD night. A grassroots campaign to bring BTE back was begun. A petition drive was started. Letters to board members were written. At the August 20 board meeting, the public comment section was dominated by a series of moving testimonials mostly from former students. The petition, which by now had over 1,000 signatures, was handed over. The board had taken note (in stark contrast to boards of former years) and requested a presentation on BTE. This was to have occurred at last Thursday’s regular meeting but it was postponed because of the potential distraction that would be caused by that other little bit of business. However, it is on this Monday, September 28th, at 7 PM in the “Living Room.”
I have focused on BTE among the ensembles because, a, I have had intimate experience with it during my years as a theatre student and, b, it the ensemble under the spotlight right now. I would like to think that we all support the rebirth of faculty-driven activities across the curriculum, not just in the arts, and have an administration in place that supports them unreservedly.
Stay tuned for news and commentary from the CODFA President and Vice President.