BOT meeting, April 7, 2016 – 2nd public comment

John Kraft, Edgar Cty Watchdogs, asks to be notified of ceremony for placement of new HEC building sign. Raises question about bank donation.

Kirk Allen, Edgar Cty Watchdogs, speak to records retention issue. Had foia’d the policy, withheld from foia. When received from state, there was a page about retention of emails that was missing from COD’s foia packet.

Bob Hazard, reading Deborah Adelman’s comments about the Community Education Farm. My name is Deborah Adelman, English faculty member  My comments tonight represent my perspective as part of the interdisciplinary Community Education Farm Team. We would like to inform you of the current status of the Farm project, and give you some brief historical background. We have now gone two seasons with no farm, although we were promised a permanent site on campus, and as spring and a new season approaches, we would like to get the College to honor that promise in time for a 2016 growing season.

The Community Education Farm was founded in 2003. It is an interdisciplinary service learning site, a sustainable urban agriculture project where COD students, staff and community members have grown vegetables , delivered to community residents in need of food assistance.  The farm was created with funds from a Tell Lab grant to enhance science education through the COD Honors Program, and along the way received grants from BP, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and was developed with consultation from the Learning Center at Angelic Organics in Caledonia Illinois, one of the early leaders in the sustainable agriculture movement in the Midwest.  Our efforts were covered in the Chicago Tribune, The Daily Herald, and Comcast Community television. The COD farm team ran a low-budget  highly productive project, delivering literally tons of student-grown produce to local food pantries, with a particular focus on partnership with the Food Market at the People’s Resource Center in Wheaton.

When we moved from our original site  to a second site, the college invested in infrastructure to ensure our continued operations.  We had raised beds, rainwater collection equipment and vermicomposting, allowing for a full cycle of operations.  We were poised to add fruit trees and educational signage, but this forward movement was interrupted when we were told to uproot the farm and move across campus. We were promised  a comparable site in our new location as long as we became a cost-recovery program.  We complied with that requirement, and became financially self-sufficient.  In fact, we still have money in the COD Foundation This happened 7 years ago.  We then were moved to two different sites and finally, two years ago, lost that site (our fourth) because of the demolition of K and OCC Buildings. We were promised we would be given a new, permanent site.

We are still waiting for COD to deliver on the promise that was made.

This winter, we had meetings with administrators from academic affairs about the farm’s future location and operations.  Everyone present at these meetings agreed to rename the Farm  “Lambert Farm at College of DuPage.”  Lambert Farm will be comprised of two sites. One of these sites will be the interdisciplinary service learning site, which is the continuation of the original project started in 2003. We are distributing a document to you tonight that outlines the purpose and mission of that site At the moment, however, work on developing this site seems to have come to a halt.  We need support from the college to get this project ready for the 2016 growing season, which really is upon us. [Time ran out, Chair Mazzochi asks for the statement in full to be emailed.]

Don Westlake, BTE advocate. Reiterates that BTE is for the common good, and that the cost is miniscule. No taxpayer has ever complained.


Wozniak brings up news that Harper is cutting costs and laying off staff and we are spending millions including hiring in-house counsel that we don’t need. Then says he knows the watchdogs think he should resign, and Kraft calls out “we still do.” Mazzochi tries to quiet the exchange.  “Pathetic,” Wozniak says twice as Mazzochi regains control.

Bernstein asks for more information about the Community Education Farm and open discussion, proposal. Mazzochi says that if it’s not self-sustaining, has to be tied to academic program, references trouble with the Waterleaf. Bernstein agrees, not in favor of burgeoning auxiliaries, but we don’t know what the direct role could be in education. Napolitano agrees.

McGuire brings up “dear to my heart” incomplete landscaping at Naperville Center. Auditor General’s audit, is it still in progress? Exchange with Collins, Elliott, and Mazzochi. Responsive documents have been provided. Have not seen bills yet.

Mazzochi reminds McGuire, Wozniak, and Birt (now absent) of documents that they are supposed to execute stating that they will preserve documents.

Meeting returns to closed session. This ends tonight’s public meeting.