Roll call. Birt absent.
Roger Kempa. Asks about cost of executive search and raises questions about financial statements.
Glenn Hansen, CODFA President. You should remember, I come from a culture where we debate everything, but we find solutions. We teach students to think critically and debate topics from many perspectives. We recognize that it takes time to work things out. However, nothing is ever accomplished if you don’t start.
Monday, the Presidential Search committee met and discussed the hiring of a firm to “help” find a new President. We talked a lot, it takes a long time for 18 people express their views, even if you only go through the list twice. We interviewed 2 of the 3 firms whom had submitted a proposal to help us. One firm had withdrawn.
We had homework last week, review the proposals and rank them. I researched the firms beyond what was on paper and did my homework, before I ranked the companies. That scoring could have been the final recommendation. But, instead the committee met and interviewed the representatives face to face. We then had a discussion of our concerns and opinions, very publicly to a room of few observers but an Internet of many. There was no hiding. This actually was good, a surprise but good. I do hope there will be some closed sessions for the sake of the applicants’ privacy, but this open meeting demonstrated that nothing will be hidden. We will see the pluses and the minuses. Nothing like 2008.
In the end there was a majority consensus to move forward with William Hay and Co. That’s how things work. You discuss, debate, and come to consensus. You even change your mind occasionally as you listen to arguments that are for or against.
At one point, I was of the mind that when only two companies interviewed we should look more. But I reconsidered, since one of the companies that interviewed I had ranked high. And there is the real possibility no one else would apply. In the end our discussion yielded a decision to look for a partnering of Hay and Co with more resources. A good decision.
We have decided to look outside the box. We are in a very unique situation at COD. We must face the Breuder legacy. We cannot simply do the search the way it was done before. Looking at a non-traditional search firm paired with academic resources could “help” find the next president. We must have “help” searching to find our next academic leader.
I have said “help” several times. This is because we are hiring a search firm who will “help” not select. We, College of DuPage, must select the next president. And that will take as long as it takes to get it right. If no one meets our standards, we continue to search.
But, we must start and that means approving Hays and Co. tonight. So we can do our work.
Judy Whorley. Expressed concerns about the bullying comments in the HLC report. Has seen the video of student who is suing COD for rough treatment. Horrifying. When did we move to smoking a cigarette outside the door leading to two men putting their hands on her? Breuder used the worst corporate model, where the main priority is the CEO’s comfort and the staff are your servants, and the customers will accept whatever you put out there. This college needs a lot of work.
Richard Jarman, COD Faculty Association VP. Read unanimous resolution by Faculty Senate condemning Trustee McGuire for her independent statement to the HLC:
Be it resolved that the College of DuPage Faculty Senate wishes to express its profound concern regarding the action taken by Trustee Dianne McGuire in submitting her own letter to the Higher Learning Commission regarding the college’s response to the HLC report.
Trustee McGuire appears to have put her personal agenda above the greater interests of the institution in her allegations leveled against the new board majority. In light of the HLC findings, consequences for this institution are potentially substantial. The Faculty Association, along with administration led by Acting interim President Collins and board chair Hamilton, have worked collaboratively to mitigate many of the issues raised by the HLC, as described in the college’s response. The Faculty Senate is very concerned that Trustee McGuire’s actions may compromise these positive steps forward.
Keith Yearman, Professor, Geography. II’m here to ask the Board to release an internal audit dated February 26, 2009 concerning the Honors Program. This audit was used to justify the creation of a Presidential Commission to review the Honors Program. Then-President Breuder tasked the commission to “review the Honors Program audit, identify opportunities for improving program efficiencies and make recommendations for improvements.” How funny this commission’s primary task was economic. This began a long trend of Academic Affairs being sidelined in pursuit of expense accounts and fine dining. The Honors Program has never really recovered.
Honors Scholar tuition waivers and Academic Excellence Scholarships, that served current students, were eliminated during this review. They were replaced with a Presidential Scholars Award for incoming high school students and an Academic Scholars Award which “will target high achieving non-traditional students above the age of 24.” You’ll note traditional students were shafted in the end. And now the Academic Scholars Award has apparently been decoupled from the Honors Program.
The Honors Program lost two staff members with this review, a 30-hour administrative assistant and a permanent part-time position. The commission proposed eliminating these positions and replacing them with an Honors Program Manager. This new position was blocked and never filled. Now the Honors Director gets release from one class per semester to manage the program – that’s it.
Historically faculty would receive a bit of compensation for preparing an honors class for the first time. It was a one-time deal per class, not per section and not per semester, but that money was better spent on duck pâté than on faculty preparation. The total amount of stipends in the last year they were awarded? Basically half of what the Waterleaf’s Executive Chef was paid that same year.
Somewhere along the way a humanities leadership class was stuck into the honors program to fulfill the presidential scholarship requirement, essentially replacing a longstanding team-taught seminar. To quote a colleague, “What does the Humanities course on “leadership development” have to do with the Honors Program? This does not seem to make sense to me.” It seems many faculty agree with this perspective; proposals to remove this class repeatedly are floated, most recently at the October in-service. Yet these requests are routinely denied.
I’d encourage you to look not only at the Honors Committee Recommendations presented to then-President Breuder on May 29, 2009. But I also refer you a November 2005 report – Efficiency and Effectiveness Review of the Honors Program. You’ll see seriously flawed data and analysis in the 2005 report, and efforts to shred the Honors Program even back then.
What’s the longstanding issue with the college’s administration, regardless of the president at the time, as to the Honors Program? This highly-decorated program should have been the envy of every college in the country. Instead the administration siphoned everything it could from the program. Please release the 2009 internal audit so we can see the justification for Breuder’s cuts. And I’d like to encourage this board to reverse many of the cuts to this program.
Laura Reigle. Addresses Collins, comments on alcohol policy statement in HLC.
Bob Hazard, Professor, English. Good evening. I want to address two issues tonight; the first is about some of the conversation that occurred during Monday’s meeting of the Presidential search committee. I want start by saying how much I respect Representative Ives. She stood tall last year and defended our college. Now, she’s volunteered to help find a new president. I thank her for all she’s done for us.
But, I have to respectfully disagree with several of her proposals from Monday night. She said she doesn’t think we need a national search for our new president; that we can find someone here in DuPage county and that we should look for a retired CEO or general. I disagree.
We need a national search if we’re going to find the best president. Even if we wind up hiring local, we need to be able to demonstrate that we were thorough. We need this, if for no other reason, that a public, transparent, national search will inoculate us against charges of cronyism.
Additionally, we need to hire a dedicated academic, not a CEO or a general. We need someone who understands colleges, who has a terminal degree in a specific discipline, who is active in that discipline, who might want to actually teach a class on occasion. We need someone who has run a college and will be able to hit the ground running. Breuder liked to brag that he ran our college like a business: that didn’t work out so well. I’m sure there are plenty of fine generals out there, but being at the top of a military command structure is not the same thing as running a college. You wouldn’t expect a retired college president to be able to do the job of a general; the reverse is just as true.
The second issue is Trustee McGuire’s Nov 17th article in the Daily Herald. Diane, you seem determined to damage our college. I say that because even if you truly felt that your opinions were not included in the college response to the HLC report and they needed to be heard, there is no good reason to have your complaints also published in the Daily Herald.
There is no explanation for that other than you hope to continue to scuttle the efforts of this board to move our college forward. You need to understand that if we are sanctioned by the HLC, you have a great deal of responsibility for those sanctions. You sat silent on the board and allowed Dr. Breuder to damage our college, and now, you seem to be purposefully creating the dysfunction that raised concerns with the HLC. But it’s not just the HLC that’s watching. Every potential presidential candidate will no doubt Google COD, and read all the news stories, including your November 17th article. The best candidates, the ones with other options, will steer clear of this mess, this unnecessary drama, that you seem determined to continue.
I don’t know why you’re doing this. I don’t care why you’re doing this. I just want you to stop.
Carol Davis. Founder and coordinator for West Suburban Patriots – large Tea Party organization. Asks for quick movement on presidential search.
Jan Shaw. Commenting on search process. Division of board. Honor recommendation of committee. Argues that in the age of the Internet, the Rolodex is not as important as it used to be. People know there’s an opening. The resumes will come in. Urges BOT to accept search committee recommendation.
Adam Andrzejewski. Founder of openthebooks.com. Future of COD is at stake yet again. Grow, don’t stand still. Time is of the essence. New president will not take office until March. Points to the fact that all of Breuder’s mgt team is still in place, Collins has not made any changes. Commends board for the open process to begin presidential search, transparency of the on-camera committee meeting. Urges board to accept recommendation of committee.
Miguel Marino. Never too early to have conversations about the future. All our collective work will go to accomplish the vision. Enrollment numbers are not the point. We have to look to the future, see students as investment in the future.