Sept 25-26, 2014 – Jarman comments

The closed session lasted until midnight, when public comments resumed. Community members, faculty, and students spoke. The meeting ended at about 12:45am. Richard Jarman, Vice-President of the COD Faculty Association, spoke just after midnight, following Glenn.

Good evening or rather good morning. My name is Richard Jarman, Vice-President of COD Faculty Association.

Just as Glenn Hansen has done, I wish to voice my concern about the rearrangement of the agenda to place constituent comments about non-agenda related items at the end of the meeting. I have read previously that this institution holds its fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers “sacrosanct.” I would like to think that a democratically elected board of a public body should hold its concern for constituent concerns equally sacrosanct. On the evidence of tonight it does not seem to be the case.

The motivation for this change is not difficult to discern, given that it comes after two meetings where many constituents made remarks critical of the leadership. I would suggest that it would be wiser to confront the issues raised directly, rather than attempt to shove them under the rug. I suspect that, much like the censure motion taken last month, this move will ultimately not reflect well on how this board performs.

That said, I am not entirely surprised. There has been manifest reluctance by the board to address issues that have been brought before it by the faculty leadership. In June, Mr. Hansen asked seven questions of the board during his comments. We are still waiting for answers. In July, Mr. Hansen wrote to the board to request an investigation of the May 9th email. Other than acknowledging its receipt, nothing further has yet happened.
On September 10th the COD Faculty Association took a historic vote of No Confidence in the President. You know the result: 189 faculty voted yes, in a turnout that was as large as that typical in a contract vote. No longer can we be dismissed as that small group of disgruntled faculty (20 or sometimes 30 depending on the time of day). Instead we are now diminished as the 10%. A healthy organization would act to resolve areas of conflict that this large turnout point to. We have yet to hear anything from the administration in response to this weighty action. The board has acknowledged receipt of the letter in which we brought to your attention the seriousness of our concerns, in the hope that you will take action to improve the situation.  We stand ready to work with you in partnership for the betterment of the College of DuPage. Thank you.