COD faculty vote no confidence in Breuder

Full-time faculty formally express dissatisfaction with college president

Joash Mencias, Editor-in-chief

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The College of DuPage faculty association officially expressed no confidence in President Robert Breuder’s leadership.

In a 189-53 vote, full-time faculty members agreed with the statement, the faculty has “no confidence in the leadership of Dr. Robert L. Breuder, President of the College of DuPage.”

The decision comes after the fallout following a publicized email in which Breuder pushed for a $20 million state grant by identifying “a project that would help release our state funding.” The faculty also pointed to Breuder creating a culture of “fear and intimidation” on campus the past six years.

“It’s a serious thing when full-time faculty have the vote that many times leads to a president resigning or a president being fired,” faculty President Glenn Hansen told The Courier. “I think this is the most powerful stance a faculty [body] can take, that they have no confidence in the leadership of the college.”

“You can say the status quo is not satisfactory,” faculty Vice President Richard Jarman added.

According to Hansen, a formal vote of no confidence has never occurred in COD history.

COD spokesman Joseph Moore suggested the faculty vote does not reflect the mood of other college employees.

“It isn’t news to anyone that the relationship between the full-time faculty union and Dr. Breuder has been strained since the last contract negotiation in 2011. This vote is limited to full-time faculty only, who comprise roughly 10 percent of the College’s employee base,” Moore said in a statement.

“Overall, the campus climate, as measured in 2014 by a nationally normed employee satisfaction survey administered by an outside agency, is excellent, with scores for ‘healthy campus climate’ now tying our all-time recorded high.”

Breuder was expected to make remarks on the faculty’s decision during a college-wide address on Sept. 24. However the meeting was postponed to an unknown date, according to the president’s newsletter.

Moving forward, faculty senate leaders have notified the board of trustees and hope they take action.

“We want the board to change the direction that we’re going. We want them to change the climate within the college. We want a change in how the president interacts with the faculty and other constituencies,” Hansen said.

“Once we see [trustees’] reaction, then we can talk about what we will do next,” Hansen added.

While Hansen thinks the board of trustees will not ignore the faculty vote, he also warned of the ramifications of not addressing the sentiments of faculty and concerned citizens.

“I think if they take no action, it reflects very poorly on them. There are consequences. They are all elected public officials. They are in essence then saying that they endorse everything Dr. Breuder has done.”

“I think there’s a tremendous amount of public pressure now on the college, and they need to solve that problem,” Hansen continued. “They need to look at how they solve this problem and the image that’s been created of the college and the administration. And sometimes the correct solution is the most difficult and unpleasant solution.”

Hansen admits while the faculty’s vote further erodes faculty and administrative relations, they ultimately do not want contention.

“[The vote] definitely draws a line in the sand. It will have a chilling effect on relationships, which is not what we really want. We want to be able to work together. We want to find a collaborative solution.”

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