Guest Column: An open letter to students and community members from the COD Faculty Association


The College of DuPage Faculty Association and community supporters protest before the Aug. 15 board of trustees meeting (photo by: Alison Pfaff)

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Dear Students and Community Members,

You are probably reading about issues surrounding our contract negotiations and feeling unsure, perhaps even concerned, about what this is all about. We, the COD Faculty Association (CODFA), are your faculty and would like to share our perspective with you.

We are passionate educators who care deeply for our students and wish to make a difference in their lives. There is no greater joy for us than when we see students learn something new, create something magnificent, or walk across that graduation stage.

We have been negotiating since March and are now working without a contract. We want nothing more than to have this settled and to be able to devote our full attention to our classrooms.

CODFA seeks compensation that allows us to keep pace with our surrounding community. COD is in a very healthy financial position, and there is no reason for one-third of our faculty to have to experience the decline in purchasing power that would result from a 1.5% adjustment in salary – especially when many of those same people have lived with a wage freeze for the last three years.

CODFA seeks a promotion structure that continues to reward deep knowledge and expertise in our disciplines. Our students deserve access to that kind of passion and achievement. Our faculty are the developers of all curriculum. It is faculty expertise that ensures classes, degrees and certificates are aligned with student, transfer institution, accreditation, and employer needs.

CODFA seeks evaluation policies and structures that are well-conceived and tie to meaningful continuous improvement. Faculty are committed to assessment practices that support student learning. We are on the frontlines of identifying and responding to student needs. When we are teaching, we are also learning.

Our pursuit of these objectives will support student success and help COD to attract and retain the outstanding faculty our students and community deserve. These objectives are at the foundation of a fair contract. A fair contract is a board responsibility.

If you would like to help us, please email the Board of Trustees at, and ask them to settle the contract in a way that fully honors the expertise and commitment of the faculty. You can also sign up to receive text updates at, just leave your cell # and email. Follow us on Instagram @CODfacultyassociation, Facebook @CODFaculty, or Twitter @CODFacultyAssoc.

Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions. We want the best for our students and believe all students are worth fighting for.

Students matter. We matter. Teaching matters.

On behalf of the COD Faculty Association,

Shannon Toler