October 16, 2014 – Post 7

Adam Andrzejewski. Top 10 oddities sheet was crafted from a locked PDF that was provided in response to a FOIA request. Took programmers five hours to unlock it; the 1’s and spaces were introduced in the process. Realized error and pulled the next day from website, which they knew when they made tonight’s presentation.

Glenn Hansen, president of the Faculty Association. Timing is everything, since I didn’t know what would happen tonight when I wrote these remarks. In 2007, I asked the Board to begin streaming and broadcasting their meetings. David Carlin later championed the issue, the College bought the equipment, and the Board began to stream and broadcast the meetings on local cable access stations.  The time has come to do this again. Your business is the people’s business. We should not rely on the news being reported in the paper. Give the district residents the opportunity to view the proceedings live and to form their opinion unfiltered. Thank you.

Richard Jarman, Vice President of the Faculty Association. Perhaps I should be grateful that I did not hear the chimes at midnight before getting to make my comments tonight; but I am not particularly. This new policy, hastily adopted at the last meeting, perhaps at odds with the board’s own rules in the process, whereby comments not directly related to agenda items have been shunted to the very end, even after closed sessions of indeterminant length, reflects poorly on how this board appears to value the input from community members from all constituencies. We know why it was done; but I suspect it will not have the desired effect but instead exacerbate an already charged arena; and not for the first time this past few months.

I sometimes have the sense that, upon entering this room of a Thursday, I enter an alternative universe where what I thought was up is down; and what I thought was down is up. Important issues continue to be neglected. Instead of dealing with the May 9th email, a trustee is censured. To what end exactly? Two highly critical editorials in the Tribune resulted from all that, unwelcome publicity. And the Tribune is not exactly the Daily Worker, with its staunch conservative position, even having endorsed a former COD chairman in his political campaign for higher office. All that along with amplified and sustained criticism at ensuing board meetings. Might I suggest, with a different approach, all this could have been avoided?

When I took hold the reins of office, short as they are, it was on my mind to work towards changing the current policy towards retirees. We are told it is too difficult to keep track of hours and for fear of anyone exceeding the allowance, then no one will be hired. The twin principles of equity and fairness – or perhaps equity and unfairness – are invoked. We have heard no discussion around this table about this. I would encourage it to happen. With all the wonderful achievements that this college is capable of, witness the manifest mastery of internal controls, I cannot believe it to be an insurmountable obstacle to track hours if there is the collective will to do it.

Stephen Tuscher, president of the college’s environmental club, read the text of a petition relating to the Community Farm with well over 500 signatures asking that land on campus be dedicated to environmental practices. The club appreciates that land has been found for the farm but asks that a plot of land on campus be set aside as an urban garden to better facilitate students’ involvement and demonstrate the college’s commitment.

Haroon Atcha, advocate for students, told a story about not changing the oil in his car while keeping it perfectly clean and detailed. He compared this to COD which has beautiful grounds and facilities and asks how we can best invest in the students to make COD more than a pretty face.

Rachel Musselwhite, president of Pride Alliance, partnered with numerous student groups to put on Project You to promote students’ self-acceptance. A faculty panel on identity inspired many students.

Stephanie Torres. Thanked Dowling and Breuder for their time in sharing Pizza with the President event. She also spoke about Project You which was a major effort developed entirely by COD students. She also mentioned more SLC leadership activities.

Ed Franckowiak. Had to hold himself back listening to the staff talking about cost controls when then hearing about a case of fraud that should have been discovered two years ago. He used Google to check for a vendor company that doesn’t exist. How can you have a clean audit if there was theft? The public should know that a theft occurred.

Laura Reigle. Has exchange with Birt about her speaking time (which she had given to Adam Andrzejewski). Birt says she doesn’t want to pay more legal fees so Reigle should speak. Reigle then raises issues about ROI and quotes from Breuder’s own words about how everything has been built new since 2009, not justified by the small increments of enrollments. She also referenced the large surplus. It is disrespectful that the trustees do not have email addresses and the only way to communicate is through three-minute comments.

The meeting ended with announcements. Next regular board meeting November 20, 2014, at 7pm. Adjourned at 11:15pm.