Roll Call & Other Opening Acts
The trustees called the meeting to order and all trustees are present. The approval of the agenda proceeded without discussion.
President Breuder and Jean Kartje welcomed Dean Donna Steward for a presentation on the Center for Advanced Digital Manufacturing. Stewart reported that the Center will grow advanced manufacturing offerings at COD in a variety of ways. COD will add additional educational space, equipment, and faculty members for the manufacturing discipline.
COD Jim Filipek also spoke on behalf of the program and its growth. He and Stewart reported there are about 100 FTEs in the program. Stewart also answered questions about marketing the program to students and employers. Stewart also explained future classroom reconfiguration in the Seaton Center computer labs.
Student Trustee Torres reported on an ICCB meeting, including SLC’s support for Advocacy Day on April 1st and 2nd (to focus on the allocation of $65 million for community colleges).
President Breuder stood and spoke from the microphone to the Board of Trustees to give his report. Regarding the report from Stewart and Filipek, he first exhorted the board to read and watch what is taking place nationally and in the state regarding the resurgence of manufacturing in the United States. He also spoke to the board about the Baccalaureate “movement” and took credit for being “the guy” who is in the forefront of that effort. He described his work on the topic at Harper, 7 or 8 years ago, and he argued that “the moment is right now” for Illinois to “follow what 22 other states have already done” which is authorizing community colleges to authorize B.A. degrees for select programs. Breuder argued we would move only into areas “where there is a documented, community need” that is being unmet. He stated that sources for validating an existing, unmet need include Choose DuPage, Workforce Investment Board, Illinois Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, US Dept. of Labor, and so on. He stated that we should be allowed to do this because of taxpayers authorizing us to do so. He also stated that the most costly component of a degree like automotive technology is the first two years, and the upper two years are less costly. He stated that this is in the interest of the taxpayer. He stated there will be push back, from those who offer the B.A. who don’t want the competition. The other objection comes from people in the “community college family” “who want to label this mission creep.” “My God. We’ve been mission-creeping since the 1900s.” He stated a change in legislation is required to allow this. Breuder stated “we should craft a strategy for Illinois.” And “there is no reason for us not to do this.” He cited President Obama’s call for 8 million more post-secondary graduates by the year 2020. He stated “it’s coming to this institution and all community colleges sooner or later.” He compared this issue to westward expansion and manifest destiny.