Board Chairwoman Kathy Hamilton and Secretary Frank Napolitano have declared an official presidential search committee. The committee is made up of 16
individuals, including a student member whose vote will not count.
Hamilton explained the process at the board meeting on Sept. 17. All 16 members belong to District 502 and will be sifting through resumes. They will be responsible for choosing the final candidates. The board will then screen the final three or four.
Hamilton released a statement detailing her excitement for the process and it’s potential. “I am very deeply grateful that these talented civic and educational representatives have joined our effort,” said Hamilton. “Their personal commitment will help us attract presidential candidates of the highest caliber, because candidates care about community support. These individuals show unparalleled support for COD at this crucial time in its history.”
Hamilton spoke to the Courier about her presidential search goals in an Aug. interview. She expressed her dedication to involving community members and doing what is best for taxpayers. Hamilton has no set time period to complete the search. She vows to give the search as much time as is needed to find a fitting president.
College of DuPage has been running under the eye of Acting Interim President Joe Collins since President Robert Breuder was placed on administrative leave last spring. Because of this, Hamilton will be leading the search committee.
Hamilton is looking for someone to assist her in returning the college to its state of calm. “The leader we seek will restore trust, uphold standards and encourage new heights of academic achievement. She or he will ceaselessly advance the interests of our students, faculty and taxpayers,” Hamilton said in a statement.
Lee Daniels, former Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives and Jeanne Ives, Illinois Representative of District 42 stand out as honorable committee members.
Other members include:
-Earl Dowling, COD vice president of student affairs
-Glenn Hansen, President of the COD faculty association
-Nimish Bhatt, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Calamos Investments
-Heidi Huizinga Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, Prison Fellowship
-Maren McKellin, COD Manager of Field and Experiential Learning Studies
-Nobuko Kudo, Esquire, Law Offices of Nobuko Kudo
-Paul LeFort, Retired Partner, Deloitte Cousulting
-Elizabeth Martinez,Treasurer, Friends of Lisle Township
-Cheryl Baunbach-Caplan, President of COD Adjunct Association
-Sherman Neal, Principal Owner, Aspire Ventures LLC; Director, College of DuPage Foundation
-Mike Webster, Esquire, Webster and Schelli PC
-Miguel Hernandez, Student Member, COD Student Body Vice President
Student Trustee, Gloria Roark was asked to be a member of the committee but declined due to lack of time. Roark was disappointed with the way Hernandez, student committee member, was selected.
“I received an email at 8 p.m. on Wednesday from Chair Hamilton asking if I had any suggestions for a student member,” said Roark. “She then called me at 9 and requested my answer by Thursday.”
Roark felt that the process to select a student member was rushed and not well thought out. She commented that if she had been allowed more time, she would have been able to properly screen candidates.
Not only was Roark disappointed in the decision feeling like an afterthought, but Roark explained that Hamilton’s original suggestion for a student member proved to be a former student. Currently, the person recommended, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a classified employee of the college. Roark recommended the employee represent classified employees on the committee, but Hamilton responded that the committee already has too many members.
Roark also feels that Hernandez’s vote should count along with the other members on the committee. “Students should have a definite say in who the president is at their college,” said Roark. “We all know what can happen if it takes a bad turn. Hopefully [Hernandez] is able to vote first to influence the vote of others.”