Board moves to censure Vice Chairman Hamilton


Joash Mencias

Board Chair Erin Birt, left, and Vice Chair Kathy Hamilton await the start of the College of DuPage board of trustees meeting on Aug. 21, 2014. Birt and the majority of the board voted to censure Hamilton.

Josh Clayton, News Editor

The College of DuPage Board of Trustees voted at the Aug. 21 meeting to censure Vice Chairman Kathy Hamilton. Along with Hamilton, Trustee Kim Savage voted against the measure, and Trustee Nancy Svoboda abstained.

Hamilton was publicly condemned for her “inappropriate conduct” and encouraged to thereby “refrain from conduct beyond the scope of her role as Trustee.”

Section 3 of the resolution addressed the “misstatements” of Hamilton in regards to the new Teaching and Learning Center. By a 6-1 majority vote, the board approved $30 million in capital funding for the center’s construction. In her writing to conservative blog Illinois Review, Hamilton said the building would cost the college $50 million.

The difference between what the board approved and Hamilton stated is the subject of President Robert Brueder’s controversial e-mail – $20 million in unreleased state-appropriated funding.

The board was opened to discussion upon Chairman Erin Birt’s reading of the censure.  Savage spoke first.

“While I do not agree with trustee Hamilton’s decision to air her opinions in the press and on Internet websites, I can understand her frustration with the feeling that her opinions are not being listed to respectfully,” Savage said.

“Distraction and discord do not serve students, so I can not in good faith support the resolution.”

Savage’s focus on the board’s purpose to serve students and the distracting nature of the controversy aligned with a number of community members who spoke at the meeting.

Hamilton’s response to the censure spoke to her efforts to combat unnecessary spending by the board. The trustee stated that she does not intend to stop speaking out.

“This censure represents a tremendous need for reform on this board.” Hamilton said. “We are not in touch with the taxpayers.”