I would like to offer an optimistically preemptive congratulations to the eighteen colleagues who will be approved for tenure after the board of trustees vote. This vote represents an investment in the future of the institution, not one that should be taken lightly by the faculty involved or the administrators who help facilitate the process.
In the face of a significant number of retirements in the coming months among all groups, it is exciting to welcome new members to our ranks who shape the direction and personality of the college.
I would like to offer the same congratulations to the thirty-seven administrators who see their contracts renewed for another year. It was a pleasure this month to start what I hope will be a longstanding practice of meeting with all deans on a monthly basis. Increased communication between faculty and deans is a recipe to avoid confusion and head off issues before they develop. We look forward to working together.
On February 9, the Budget Committee met and discussed among other things President Caputo’s hiring suspension, which was initially communicated to the cabinet on February 7. After two weeks of repeated requests for information, it was shared on Monday, 2/21.
At the January board meeting, I praised President Caputo for approving fourteen faculty hires next year. In the intervening two weeks was there a dramatic transformation of the college’s financial position and enrollment? No, there was not. This information has been available and known to all parties for at least a year. To publicly announce new hires and then rescind that without additional information is disingenuous at best.
For multiple individuals to discuss the need for cutting faculty, full-time or part-time, without honestly discussing all options available is disingenuous at best. When actors at the college proposed and supported freezing the tax levy year after year, under the guise of fiscally sound judgement, while ignoring the inevitable need to increase revenue streams and paying only attention to the politically expedient scapegoating of faculty, we are disappointed and expect more. Supporting faculty at the College of DuPage should not require courage or leadership.
Is there a budget crisis, or is it manufactured unnecessarily for purposes other than healthy, stewardship of the institution?