Over the past six years, the College of DuPage has been met with a plethora of hurdles that led to issues which need discussion with the community. The COD Faculty Association (CODFA) voiced their opinions in a presentation given by Glenn Hansen, president of the faculty association, and Richard Jarman, vice president of the faculty association, at the Feb. 25 board of trustees meeting.
“If it helps, consider this presentation an evaluation, yes it can hurt,” said Hansen. “Tonight is a call for more evaluation. Not only should there be a new formal evaluation of process and people, but we each need to be our toughest critic and more closely examine what we do.”
Hansen described the last fall’s vote of no confidence as an accumulation of frustration over former Breuder’s six-year term. “For years, various faculty members had called for a vote of no confidence on Dr. Breuder, the BoT (board of trustees), and the BoT Chair,” said Hansen. “Each time that came to Senate, we formed a committee to look at the charges. A vote of no confidence is never taken lightly and circumstance must be appropriate. Each prior time we decide the choice was not yet. The frustration was there and growing for most of his six years at COD.”
Jarman said the faculty senate determined overspending occurred by the former board and president. This included a $100,000 water bill for an excessive tree planting program and maintenance cost; $200,000 for the chronology wall and presidential suite and $16 million for the revamp of the 2008 Facilities Master Plan for the carpark and bioswales.
Also noted by Jarman were inappropriate comments made by the former president towards both the village of Glen Ellyn and full-time faculty of the college. Jarman noted that Breuder once described the Glen Ellyn village board as “shucking and jiving” in one of his weekly presidential addresses. As well, he spoke about Breuder’s talks of replacing full-time faculty with part-time staff.
“There’s a history of diminishing, demeaning and denigrating the faculty,” said Jarman. “In one article he was equated to saying he could replace the full time by part time faculty and save a bunch of money and still give the same quality.”
Friction within the full-time faculty of the college led to the PACE survey results being significantly lower for full-time than any other category of faculty. The PACE, or Personal Assessment of the College Environment, survey was given in 2014 to administration, management, full -time faculty and classifieds and part-time faculty and classifieds.
The results showed that the full time faculty were below satisfactory in four questions on the survey compared to the rest of the college. These points were directed at appropriate decision making by the institution, problems with open and ethical communication from the institution, cooperation with the institution and a sense of community throughout the halls of COD.
Resolutions to the survey provided by the CODFA were provided to the board. The resolutions included replacing the president’s communication committee with the faculty senate, putting an end to blaming problems on small factions of faculty and a call to stop blaming past negotiations as the source of the faculty’s anger.
After a discussion of the problems involving the COD Suburban Law Enforcement Academy, Continuing Education and listing ways to improve ethics, Hansen concluded the presentation by asking the college to self-evaluate. He proposed meetings of two trustees, administrators and faculty leadership for what he called a “frank conversation” on the issues pressing the college.
“We have outlined actions in our presentation and many more in our documents,” said Hansen. “We have called for various actions in other presentations. I have always stated that I believe the actions, not proposed actions or changed outcomes were expected by HLC. We need to evaluate the broken processes and redesign them so there is no doubt we are serious about getting off probation and these things will never happen again.”