Meeting Called to Order
Pledge of Allegiance
Secretary Napolitano takes roll.
All trustees present. Trustee McGuire is absent, all others present.
Motion to approve agenda. Motion made by Trustee Mazzochi. Seconded by Trustee Napolitano.
Comments: Chair Birt notes that the agenda is sparse and there is very little on it and that it was first available on Tuesday. It was prepared by Attorney Elliot after review. Why has college business been delegated to an expensive attorney. Attorney Elliot delivers the agenda on Tuesday after review and so certain Board members are not receiving the agenda.
Mazzochi: Are you suggesting that you did not get the agenda 48 hours before?
Birt: No, I did not say that.
Chair Hamilton: The package by policy must be presented 48 hours in advance and that has always been the case. We meet now twice a month and for those of us who can make it, it seems some meetings have less and others seem action-packed.
I did talk to someone [community college expert] about how other community colleges prepare their Board pack. She said it is not advisable to prepare a packet a week in advance. In fact I have with me a packet from the past and it is filled with place holder after place holder. So if you prepare it in advance you actually have to prepare it twice. And so it becomes burdensome to the Administration. When we prepare in advance it is not complete.
Birt: Joe Collins ,didn’t you say that Board members cannot due their due diligence if they get the packet on Tuesday before a meeting?
Joe Collins: If the Board has an issue about the packet, Maryann Millush and others at the college do our best to follow the Board’s wishes.
Discussion ensues about how to prepare Board packets in advance (Birt, Mazzochi, Hamilton)
Trustee Wozniak- I would like to have the packet more than two days in advance so I can prepare.
Hamilton: Didn’t I call you twice this week to talk about it? Didn’t you have nothing to add to it?
Mazzochi: Haven’t you received the packets on time? Weren’t they always complete? Are there any items on tonight’s agenda that you are not prepared to discuss.
Wozniak: I’m just saying I would like it more than two days in advance.
Hamilton: Any more discussion regarding this?
Hamilton: May I have a motion to approve the agenda.
Motion made by Trustee Mazzochi, seconded by Napolitano. Voice vote. Birt votes no.
Chair Hamilton opens up public comments portion of the agenda.
Glenn Hansen, President COD Faculty Association
Good evening, I’m Glenn Hansen. President of the Faculty Senate and Faculty Association.
Fighting is easy, finding peace is hard. It’s a lot easier to accuse someone than to resolve issues. A secret to success is to put aside the labels and listen to the other person without preconceived misunderstandings. Truly listen.
What is happening here at COD, is that members of the college community are trying to repair the damage that has been done during the last decade. There are some who will say that is not so, they are welcome to that perspective, but I would note that they were probably active participants in the misguided process that focused on money and stature. I will remind you that the attitude of self-aggrandizement contributed to the Faculty saying enough is enough and clearly stating we had no confidence in the direction the College was going. That attitude is not welcome on this campus.
We are now seeing receipts released in black and white almost constantly. While arguments are made as justifications, those arguments cannot stand up to the scrutiny that is ever present. We cannot accept these expenditures on excess, nor should have anyone condoned the behavior. There now needs to be action that brings this to a conclusion. It’s time for everyone to say that’s enough.
What has been lost in the last year’s discussion is the damage that has happened to people. When people feel abused, they are not empowered to preform beyond what is required. People must be treated with respect and dignity. It’s time to act not talk.
With the departure of Bob Breuder, I have witnessed a great improvement in employee morale and heard a huge sigh of relief rise up from the campus. I have witnessed people making statements in meetings and asking questions they never would have before. But, there needs to be final steps taken to change the sigh to a cheer.
The citizens of the district voted to fix the problems. So tonight, to the henchmen and handmaidens of Bob Breuder and the status quo, I say it is time to acknowledge things have changed. It’s time to join the process by working constructively and being part of the change not an obstruction. Bob is gone, those days are gone, and he’s probably not even thinking about you. Change is coming; don’t be left behind.Thank you.
Richard Jarman, Vice President CODFA
Taxidermized cock pheasant, $185. While I admit to enjoying a well-hung pheasant, provided the shot are removed, I would not dream of presenting an invoice to the Foundation to pay for it. Yet this was apparently common practice with our soon-to-be-former president. While this item was one of the more modest purchases detailed by the Tribune in yet another, yes yet another, front page expose, it is somehow emblematic of the egregious and embarrassing excesses enjoyed by a select few. I was reminded of Babylon by the list and, like Belshazzar, the writing on the wall was not understood.
Honestly I had wanted to move on from this era but when this came out I could not let it go. I was angry. I still am. The president was not alone in these bacchanalian festivities. $722 for dinner with college trustees; a further $341 bar tab (that same evening). $292 at Carlucci’s after a board meeting with “sitting trustees” former trustees and others. And some trustees have been complaining about possible curtailing of travel expenses. In this light perhaps they should be more aware.
And of course you have to ask the question why the Foundation paid for any of this anyway? Well of course we know the real answer.
The Tribune in its follow-up editorial asked the question, how many students could have been helped with that money? Simple math: $102 K would supply 204 $500 scholarships. Over 200 students could each have taken a 3-credit class. Instead pheasants were shot and Michelin star restaurant dinners consumed. This president has demonstrated contempt for the institution, contempt for the vast majority of its staff and, above all, contempt for the student population we are here to serve.
Let’s be clear, there must be unanimous separation from the past; none of this can be justified. There is no defense on the grounds of it being “interest” or “normal college business.” There is no parsing the language here.
The seeds of this regime lay in the flawed search for the president back in 2008. It is time to begin the search for the new president. The lessons from 2008 must be heeded. The search must be thorough, be inclusive, be careful and be national. The clock is ticking.