Candidate Questionnaire: Joseph Wozniak

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Quick Biography

I am from Chicagoland area, living in Naperville. B.A. Degree from Governors State University and A.A. Degree & Certificate in Real Estate from Chicago City College. I am DuPage County Regional School Board trustee, finishing my second elected 6-year term, and now turning my direction toward becoming a COD trustee. I am a retired police officer, and have been a real estate and insurance agency owner; as well as having worked as an accountant for several “Fortune 500” companies.

Why are you seeking office?

I believe that l can help stabilize the board of trustees, as well as bring many new ideas from my life experience. Of course, being a former accountant I would bring transparency to the board. I know COD is a” shining star” of our community and I would work to keep it that way.

What factors determine whether or not tuition should be increased?

I prefer to always to keep tuition as low as possible. I understand what it takes, as my son is a graduate of the College of DuPage, and I am a taxpayer too. I’m happy that tuition was not increased recently, for the first time in COD’s 47-year history!

Tuition depends upon several veritable factors, including management of revenue and receipts form the state of Illinois, which usually is a shortfall and other factors.

In regards to President Barack Obama’s proposal for free community college, what do you believe the threshold should be for a free education at COD?

I have no problem with President Obama’s general idea for free tuition except, where will the federal funds come from when the country is already in debt for over 18 Trillion dollars and the state of Illinois who would be responsible for 25 percent, can now barely pay their bills. Also, I think B-average requirement should be changed to a C-average to benefit those who need help because foundation and most scholarship opportunities are rarely available to them. It really is a matter that needs much more thought to be effective.

What would your top three priorities be if elected?

To help restore credibility back to the Board of Trustees, and to begin a healing process at COD so that the students, the faculty and public again fully appreciate what an asset the College of DuPage is. To find and hire a new president that will become an asset to the college, and also install greater transparency needed at COD.

What is your opinion on the possible addition of a new Teaching and Learning Center?

At this time, l am not sure that there is an immediate need for a new Teaching and learning center. While enrollment is up slightly the last few years, it is now less than it was in 2000. By adding online classes, the need for the center may not be an immediate necessity.

In your opinion, does the college need more parking? How would you go about creating more parking if you do believe it is an issue?

I’m not sure if additional parking is really needed at this time. If factors determine that it is needed, then parking can be added in the area near to that which is now reserved for a possible Teaching and Learning Center, and still leaving room for the center in the future if needed.

A recent satisfaction survey said students are unhappy with the current counseling options on campus. How would you improve it?

If we know the exact reasons students are unhappy with counseling options at COD, I am sure that this can be corrected, as the college has a fine staff to serve the students needs.

The full-time faculty has voted to express no confidence in President Robert Breuder. Breuder has also been granted a severance package. Do you support this decision? Why or why not?

The basic answer is I have  supported a no vote from the board. In my opinion the president should have be required to either serve his full term until 2019, or been allowed to retire early in March, 2016 and receive only the wages he earned according to contract. I in absolutely no way condone paying out any buyout or “golden parachute” money period, after all what is the purpose of having a contract if you don’t follow it?  I guess that l would have agreed to shorten Dr. Breuder’s contract; without any cash buyout, because of the faculty vote of no confidence and out of kindness to Dr. Breuder if he desired this.

What qualities do you seek in a new president when President Breuder’s term is up?

I would hope the board would agree to seek a very well qualified president, who has excellent management skills, takes direction set by the board of trustees, and is fair dealing with the staff, facility, students and the public.  I would definitely seek a person of honor, and make an effort to find the first female president, in COD’s 47-year history. I feel this direction would become a positive move in the future of COD.