Accreditation agency to review college integrity

Kelly Wynne, News Editor

College of DuPage will be visited by its overseeing accreditation agency following three subpoenas from a DuPage grand jury and other controversies.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) detailed its reason for visiting in its letter to the college dated May 5. The commission expressed its concern that college administration has lost sight of the institution as a whole.

Commission President Barbra Gellman-Danley focused on the financial and ethical misdealing of the college. She ordered an evaluation “because it is not clear that the Board and Administration have provided effective leadership.”

If the college looses its accreditation, COD students may find difficulty trying to transfer credits to other schools among other college-wide problems regarding federal funding and loans.

The letter pointed out media exposure on issues such as house accounts at Waterleaf, COD’s on campus restaurant. Earlier in the year it had been noted that college employees had spent nearly $190,000 at the restaurant.

Notes on Waterleaf expanded to its annual $500,000 deficit.

The letter went on to detail distrust after former WDCB employee was reported stealing around $100,000 from the station. The employee had been on probation at the time for similar accusations at Elmhurst College.

Acting Interim President Joseph Collins commented on the letter expressing his support in the investigation.

“While I am confident that the College fully meets the HLC criteria for accreditation, I understand the need for the HLC to conduct and advisory visit,” said Collins. “We will cooperate completely with the visiting team and ensure they have an accurate view of who we are and what we do.”

COD’s accreditation will be held to the HLC standards. These include the financial and moral integrity of the college.

COD Faculty Association President Glenn Hansen is aware of what the visit means for the college.

“We are of course concerned that the HLC feels the need to make this visit, but we are confident that our core mission of teaching and learning is of the highest quality,” said Hansen.

HLC is scheduled to visit campus from June 29-30.