COD Board of Trustees Unanimously Vote Brian Caputo in as New President

Kimberly Wilson, Opinion Editor

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Brian Caputo is officially College of DuPage’s new president for at least the next three years. The COD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to appoint Caputo to the role at the recent Board of Trustees regular meeting. Caputo served as the college’s interim president since the departure of Ann Rondeau in December of last year and is now COD’s 7th president.

“Dr. Caputo brings with him a wealth of experience in leadership, administration, public education and public finances,” said Board Chairman Frank Napolitano during the meeting. Napolitano mentioned many of Caputo’s former roles, including his time as an officer in the U. S. Army and as chief financial officer and treasurer of the city of Aurora. 

Napolitano also noted Caputo’s “teaching and curriculum experience” as he has served as adjunct faculty member at Northern Illinois University. Continuing to endorse Caputo’s preparedness for his new role, Napolitano stated Caputo’s former position as vice president for administrative affairs at COD allowed him to gain “deep understanding of virtually all facets of the college’s operations.”

Caputo expressed gratitude for the continued support he has received. 

“I am humbled by the trust and confidence that this board and the entire college community has placed in me to do this important work,” Caputo remarked as he addressed the board soon after the vote.

Caputo also stated he believes COD has the capacity to realize its “enormous potential.” 

“It’s all about student success, and I think if we stay focused on that we will get where we need to go. I look forward to working with the trustees, the faculty and the staff for many years to come.”

Caputo will be earning a base salary of $262,500 during his first year of presidency. Per the terms of Caputo’s three-year contract, the board will be allowed to give him no more than a six percent raise for his subsequent two years as president. Former COD president Rondeau had received a $325,000 base salary for her first year in the role.     

 Also during the meeting, newly elected Student Trustee Jasmine Schuett dedicated her report to Pride Month. Schuett introduced Katie McElroy, the president of COD’s Pride Alliance, to give a short presentation. 

McElroy spoke about several events the club organizes throughout the school year, including their annual “Coming Out Day.” The event gives students who are not out the opportunity to interact with the club in a private setting. 

McElroy also spoke about the club’s annual “Gayla,” which she described as a “second chance prom.” McElroy said the dance, which she estimated 52 people attended this year, is important to the LGBTQIA community at COD. 

It allows this space [to dance and eat food and socialize] whereas maybe at prom in high school [the community] wouldn’t have had this chance.” 

Director of Guided Pathways Jane Smith also provided an extensive update of pathway’s overall progress. Smith focused her presentation on the three major initiatives worked on in the program during the past year which were ‘mapping,’ technology’ and ‘navigators.’

”Mapping” students’ progress is intended to help them complete their degree within the requisite time frame. Technology provided by companies such as ASR Analytics will keep track of how well the pathways program is performing. Thirteen navigators, whose jobs are to help students complete their degree requirements, were hired this past April and the college plans to hire 45 of the specialized counselors by 2021.  

Smith also hailed pathways’ ability to allow the college to better serve its students. “Pathways is all about a moral imperative,” Smith said. “It is up to us to pay attention not only when we bring our students in but to what’s happening to them while they’re here.”

 

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