Bye bye Breuder

COD president fired

President+Robert+Breuder
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Back to Article

Bye bye Breuder

President Robert Breuder

President Robert Breuder

Lucas Koprowski

President Robert Breuder

Lucas Koprowski

Lucas Koprowski

President Robert Breuder

Kelly Wynne, News Editor

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College of DuPage President Robert Breuder has officially reached the end of his COD career. On Tuesday, Oct. 20 the board of trustees held a special board meeting and voted to fire Breuder. This vote voids his severance package, which promised $763,000 at his retirement in May 2016. This also ends Breuder’s paid leave, active since April.

The vote passed 4-1 with Trustee Dianne McGuire voting against Breuder’s termination. Trustees Erin Birt, Joseph Wozniak and Student Trustee Gloria Roark did not attend the special meeting.

McGuire supported her vote by explaining she felt the trustees have no legal basis to fire the president. “The specious case law cited for support in the voiding of his contract is laughable,” said McGuire. “There is really no basis at all for the action which voided Dr. Breuder’s contract. A contract is a contract and most folks understand the importance of that concept.” McGuire also commented that the firing was nothing but a power move “driven by personal vendetta.”

Trustee Charles Bernstein defended his vote, responding that Breuder had a hand in everything flagged by the Higher Learning Committee’s accreditation report. “This is not a politically inspired witch hunt,” said Bernstein. “I will cast my vote based on what I see.”

Chairwoman Kathy Hamilton issued a statement in support of the decision. “This somber moment for the College of DuPage follows extensive investigation and careful consideration, but it also signals a new beginning by officially ending the fraud, waste, and abuse of the Breuder era and enabling COD to fully embark down a new path toward a better tomorrow.”

Breuder is now the third administrator to be fired this semester. His termination comes just weeks after those of finance officials Lynn Sapyta and Thomas Glaser.

The meeting’s board packet specified eight reasons why Breuder was unfit to remain president of the college. These bullet points ranged from poor financial oversight to damaging the college’s reputation.

This vote has been expected since the board’s vote to begin Breuder’s termination process back in August. Breuder was offered the option of a hearing before the board but declined the offer. Breuder was also encouraged to give the board a written statement in his defense of the board packet but did not respond.

During public comment community members encouraged the board to vote in favor of firing Breuder. Multiple speakers stressed that how each trustee decided to vote would speak for their personal reputation, not the reputation of Breuder.

President of the Faculty Association, Glenn Hansen, believes this is the start of a new era at the college. “For 6 years Breuder ran the college his way,” said Hansen. “[Breuder’s termination] will spark a huge sigh of relief, but change comes slowly.”

According to the faculty meeting with the HLC in July, faculty as a whole feel that change was necessary, many explaining feeling ignored and bullied by the Breuder administration. The first step has been taken, but most believe COD has a long way to go before finding it’s footing.

Resulting in astounding applause, Hansen took the mic during public comment to address the trustee’s decision. “On behalf of full-time faculty, I say thank you.”
From here, the Presidential Search Committee will screen candidates to fill Breuder’s position. Acting Interim President Joseph Collins will hold the responsibilities of president until a new president is hired. There is no time frame for the search, as Hamilton has explained her dedication to find a fitting candidate for the college, not just someone to fill the open position. According to Hamilton and Roark, internal candidates may be considered for the position.

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