Students and community members speak out against Jeanne Ives at monthly board meeting

Alison Pfaff, Features Editor

On April 25, The College of DuPage Board of Trustees regular monthly meeting students, community members and staff shared their concerns with the appointment of Jeanne Ives to COD’s presidential search committee.

Jackie McGrath, the vice president of the College of DuPage Faculty Association, voiced her concerns with Ives involvement with the committee.

Jackie McGrath

Tonight you see me and other members of the COD community wearing red. This is the traditional color of the labor movement, but it is also the color worn by educators across the country as a demonstration of hope and activism in support of public education.” McGrath said. This evening, faculty are here to support students and community members who object to the presence of former representative Ives on the presidential search committee. Her record does not support public education, students, or faculty, and we question her interest in participating In the election process. Whose interest does she represent, and are those interests consistent with COD values?”

Meggie Hernandez-Zayas, a paralegal student, spoke out against Ives’ history of discrimination towards the LGBT community and sexual assault survivors.  In Ives campaign for Governor against Bruce Rauner in early 2018, she ran a commercial that many deemed offensive, depicting transgender people, as well as other minorities in a stereotypical way.  

“I was shocked and appalled when I heard that Jeanne Ives had been chosen to be part of the presidential selection committee, especially considering that COD places such an emphasis on diversity on its campus,” Hernandez-Zayas said.  “I am LatinX. My husband, who graduated from COD about 2 years ago is LatinX. We are grandchildren of immigrants. Ms. Ives, in her racist and xenophobic ad during her run for governor, paints our community as bandana clad criminals.”

Meggie Hernandez-Zayas

Hernandez- Zayas, a survivor of domestic violence, also critiqued Ives’ treatment of other survivors.

“Furthermore, her treatment of survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors is atrocious…she openly blames victims for the acts of their perpetrator, for not reporting to the police and while in office she was a strong opponent of a bill that would protect rights of sexual assault survivors on college campuses. Jeanne Ives has no place being included in any portion of this process,” Hernandez-Zayas said.


Nancy Turner,  a now Naperville resident has lived in DuPage County for 30 years.

“My family has always valued COD and what it offers for the community. I am also here to express my disappointment in the selection of Ms. Ives on the Presidential Selection committee for the reasons that have been previously stated but also for what I see as Ms. Ives’ lack of support for public education,” Turner said.

In addition to the public’s comments, New trustees Annette Corrigan and Maureen Dunne took their oath of office and there was recognition for outgoing trustee Joseph Wozniak and Alan Bennett. Outgoing student trustee Sonia Paul was honored and Jasmine Schuett took her new position as Student Trustee for the 2019-2020 school year.