On June 26, the COD Board approved 6-1, President Robert Breuder's proposed new $50 million dollar classroom building, $20 million of which was to be funded by a state grant. That state grant was just cancelled due to embarrassing revelations of Bueuder's scheming to get the state grant, including thanking the Governor publically for it in front of 3,500 people at commencement even though the grant had not yet been made. This state grant / classroom issue publically reveals that President Breuder's $550 million building and landscaping extravaganza has virtually no oversight by a compliant Board seemingly enthralled by the garish opulence of Breuder's endless expansion. Fortunately, we DuPage residents who truly care about educational excellence, reasonable tuition for our children and wise use of tax dollars have one reasonable voice on the Board. The other six Board members would do well to read Kathy Hamilton's op ed and decide when they will exercise the same common sense, fiscal responsibility and true concern for higher education in DuPage County.
Stop expansion for expansion's sake - DAILY HERALD, JULY 8, 2014
Because of board policy restricting member speech, I must assert my First Amendment right in this letter as a citizen.
We all want to meet the educational needs of our community. I take that goal very seriously as the vice chairman at the College of DuPage. Recently, the COD board voted on a $50 million building for new classrooms. I was the only board member that opposed that investment. I felt the project warranted further analysis and definition of scope in terms of funding.
The $50 million project was to be funded by existing COD cash of $30 million and $20 million from the state. The state funding was uncertain and the appropriateness of linking the $20 million to the building project has recently come into question.
The scope of the funding should not determine the scope of the project. The request for additional classroom space should have included a complete assessment of current and future needs. Investments should be measured against a defined business model and strategic plan and should be an open and transparent starting point for decisions. The impact of any investment on a strategic plan should be clear or made clear. This was not done.
It is your money: your state income taxes, your property taxes and your student tuition. It is in the best interest of the community, the college and its students that board decisions as well as the circumstances under which they are made see the light of day. We need to stop expansion for expansion sake. Our community deserves better.