June 26 Post 3 Regular BoT Meeting

New Business

Approval for a new PN for Military Medical Corpsmen Certificate Program. A certificate program specifically for veterans.

discussion of this certificate.

Unanimously approved.

Chair Birt asks for a motion to approve the 2015 budget.

Trustee McGuire says she reads all the documents that come before her.

There is one area in which she disagrees. She says that the figure indicated for benefits has gone up fomr 4 to 8%. It seems high to her and she would like a more realistic figure.

She is pleased to see new full-time faculty openings.

Likes budgeting by projecting using credit hours not FTE’s.

Trustee McGuire asks about food costs of the College and the budgeting for money for Sodexo. 20,000 annual payment. I’m pretty happy.

Trustee Hamilton — this budget is conservative and because of that it is going to be off. We will be looking at 20-30 million dollars coming in to the College. Let’s bear in mind that these budgets are extremely conservative and they are not very good tools for looking at how much cash we have and how much cash we will have in the future. We tax, we have the power to tax, and we need to keep that in mind when we decide how much we are going to ask the taxpayers to pay.

Trustee Savage — I asked about the EAV floor because it will definitely impact on what we will collect from the taxpayers.

Trustee Hamilton-the tax rate goes up to compensate for the declining property values. That means people have to work extra hard to get that money to the college. If our budget is off, we are exacting money from the taxpayers at a time when it is hard for them.

Trustee Savage: Maybe in the future we will not see the need to raise tuition.

Chair Birt calls roll.

Hamilton votes no.

All other trustees vote yes.

NEXT AGENDA ITEM: Trustee Discussion Items

Student Presentations. Trustee Svoboda talks about how Trustees are not always free to attend student events and presentations they are invited to. She refers to a visit to Lauren Morgan’s speech class to show their research about parking. She was the only BoT member present. What a shame she was the only one present. Perhaps we could have students come to us to do presentations. We are here to serve the student body. I did talk to Trustee Escamilla and Stephanie Torres of SLC to identify class programs/activities/achievements that would come to us with a student perspective in mind. Trustee Svoboda asks the BoT how they can incorporate more visits/presentations form students.

Trustee McGuire says that while there have been some presentations by students, there have not been enough.

Chair Birt says we work in conjunction with the student trustee, whose job it is to bring student concerns to our attention. If the need arises that we need to separate out time for a report or presentation.  We could start out by encouraging Student Trustee Escamilla to bring this to our attention and he can incorporate it into our Student Trustee report. To start we should encourage the student trustee to use that time.

Agenda Item: Announcements

ACCT will be in October. November ICTTA meeting will be incorporated into that October meeting. Since ACCT will be in Chicago, no need to have everybody travel her to Chicago twice.

Trustee Savage adds about the ICTTA Springfield meeting. Svoboda and Savage attended the ICTTA meeting — had a program on student success that included information specifically about COD and she wishes more trustees had been there. Information on completion rate, transfer rate, success rate and enrollment in remedial programs at COD –all this was presented at the meeting.

Trustee McGuire reports that the COD Foundation raised more money than they had targeted. Congratulations. She reported on the Carney Art Collection at the College. Foundation is wrapping up its annual COD 4 COD which raised almost 30,000 for scholarships and programs.

Trustee Svoboda reports on the older adults. She enthusiastically reported on a meeting on the Lifelong Learning group.

Trustee McGuire — comments on the PACE report, looking forward to Bente reporting on it.

The BoT goes into closed session under the Illinois Open Meeting Acts.

Good night and good luck.

 

June 26 BoT Regular Meeting Post #2

Consent Agenda items read.

Among expenses are included:

Daily Herald is getting 45,000 dollars from COD for advertising.

Tribune Group got 135,000 for advertising.

Chair Birt calls roll for approving the Consent Agenda.

Unanimously approved.

Among change orders is 15,138 to convert an existing toilet room in the P.E. Center to an Executive Changing Room. And 7,740 for lighting work on the Forest Ghost Sculpture.

Chair Birt asks for a motion for the BoT to approve the30 million dollars construction of the new Teaching and Learning Center. Trustee Hamilton says she is not getting enough information about this building. Why 30 million? Why not 20 million? Who will it accommodate. This is simply enough detail to approve of it. This would never happen in the private sector. Trustee Savage says it is too hard to quantify until the project actually starts. Savage says that Hansen even indicated there is a lack of space for students.  If we could get the 20 million dollars that has been coming down the pipeline for some time now, she will approve. Trustee Svoboda says that this building directly supports the students and faculty and supporting students is what we are about. Therefore she thinks having a classroom building focusing  and trusting the administration to seek out information on what is needed for this building. Chairman Birt notes that the Board is an exciting job because they get to vote on issues.  Trustee Hamilton asks “don’t you think we should know how many students this building will serve” before we vote on it. How many more students will it accommodate?  Chairman Birt responds that we might not have the exact specifics of what you request but the Senior Management Team has provided you with that information. I do know that information has been provided. Trustee Hamilton insists “it has been insufficient.” “If we cannot answer the question how many students the building will serve” we should not vote on it. Hamilton”We’re at 90% capacity right now.” “I want to know how many students.” We need to understand what we are buying. “We need to understand this better. This is 30 million dollar. I am just baffled with absolutely relatively little information.  And I am embarrassed.”

Chair Birt calls on VPAA Kartje to respond. Kartje says 1075 students per class period will be accommodated by this new building. Hamilton asks how many studwents will that mean in terms of enrollment.

Hamilton — “to accommodate 1000 students we are spending 30 million dollars?”

Kartje — no, 1,000 per hour.”

Hamilton — how many new students will this building add?”

Kartje — “I can’t give you a number. I can say 30,000 students…the usage of the building is going to be so variable that I can’t tell you.”

Hamilton “if the building is 100% utilized how many students, how much revenue will that bring in?”

Kartje: we don’t know, we have variable tuition.

VP Collins — building has capacity for up to 1,000 students per hour.  Students take classes from 9am to 1pm. We wish they would take classes at other hours but they don’t.   “That would give us about 1.25 times the FTE of students for that building. MY number is 1300…we can handle 1300 students per hour. If you take 1300 times….1600FTE maximum capacity, if the building is filled to capacity.  An FTE generates about 5,000 for us. So….he calculates that if used to capacity the building would add about 8 million dollars in tuition,  If the building is used to capacity it could pay for itself in 3 years. Collins says these are  desktop calculations he is making as the meeting is going on, as Hamilton asks for more specifics.

Trustee McGuire says she finds that encouraging. She is leaning towards 33 million for the building because that way we would offset the 33 million with the 20 million we might be getting from the state.

Brueder says yes we could do that but then we would limit the scope of the building.

Hamilton “I would have assumed that those calculations would have been in this report. If we are going to make 8 million dollars each year — is that in the budget? Is that in the strategic plan?”

Answers come from all around: No.

Trustee Svoboda — In terms of this building we are planning on many new programs onboard, so we have to think how we will accommodate them. AS the Health building quickly got outsized.  I am envisioning this as more of a shall that will give the opportunity to provide special equipment and needs for some of the new programs we are looking at.  We need elbow room to grow. In looking at the numbers, we are looking at growth and I want us to be prepared to do that.

Trustee Savage: If we wait long enough until we actually need it, we will be in a hard place to get it done. But I am a little bit unclear because we already discussed the building and we already put the money in reserves and so I am confused why we are having this discussion.

Brueder explains: In the first meeting we discussed putting aside 30 million dollars for a new building. This is now saying we are willing to spend 30 million dollars. And if money comes in from the state we will be able to augment the scope of the building. 33 million we set aside, conceptually we already said this is a good thing to say. Now we are saying yes, this is a good thing to spend the money on. Brueder says “the manner in which we operate this institution allows us to build this building for 30 million dollars without debt.” “”When you sell a bond referendum you must” implement it exactly the way it is embedded. A pure teacing and learning center was not in the bond referendum.  Bruder indicates this is a response to “his colleague in Senate” who asked a question about the building. Brude says we need to be prepared for growth.

Trustee Savage -when there is a project we still have to approve it?

Brude: yes, this vote is just saying we are willing tospend 30 million dollars to spend on a teaching and learning center. You will still approve the specific project when we have it. You will see this issue at least a couple more times.

Trustee Hamilton– We should see an analysis to see exactly what our needs are. A report that might suggest it would be cheaper to rent space.  We need more information on demographics. I got information from the Administration about demographics — nothing in it about on-line learning, age of DuPage residents. What happens if in ten years one of these demographics goes south and we have a white elephant on our hands?  We are not ready to vote on this. We should at least delay this vote until we are ready for it.

Trustee Svoboda ” renting space would not allow us to accommodate special programs.

Hamilton: but you don’t know what those are yet.

Trustee Svoboda.  Regarding the white elepehant — I would trust that if we have (a white elephant) people here would know how to be creative and use that space. She lists examples form the past when four-year colleges and universities that did not have campuses in the area used to rent space from COD to build up their student body in order to build up their own student body.

Hamilton: Could you give me some numbers for some of these programs? I have this information from the Administration with not numbers.

Svoboda and Hamilton spar on this question — Hamilton wanting more specific data.

Trustee Savage ends the argument and calls the question.

Vote: Hamilton votes no on the question (approving the 30 million dollars for the building)

All other trustees vote yes.

NEW BUSINESS

Chair Birt moves that the BoT approve the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act Resolution.

Unanimously approved.

Chair Birt asks for motion for Approval of Treasurers Surety Board.

Unanimous approval.

Chair Birt asks for motion on approval of Insurance renewal for FY2015.

Unanimously approved.

Motion for approval of RAMP document.Budget Status — This RAMP document has on it:

Learning and Instructional Center 33 million

Grounds and Retention Pond Improvements 4 thousand

Homeland Security 119 million (?)

Trustee McGuire says that she had questions about the Homeland Security Training Center. But now she feels comfortable about it.

Brueder clarifies that RAMP is in case in the future the decides to that the state to allocate capital money.  You have to get on the list if when the government decides to make money available.  If the state once again decides to allocate money for capital projects, we need to be on the list with specific projects to ask for. In reality it probably will not happen. But we have to have projects on the list in case it does.the state, if it decides to make money available for state-funded capital projects –RAMP( Resource Allocation And Management Plan)

Trustee Savage clarifies — that if the state does decide to fund projects we have to do this in order to get he project done.

Hamilton votes no .Other trustees all vote yes.

 

 

Regular Meeting Begins at 7″15

The meeting begins.

Roll call.

Student Trustee Escamilla is absent as he is in class.

Trustee O’Donnell is present via phone.

Trustee Svoboda acts as secretary.

No presentations.

Public comments by employees.

Glenn Hansen, President of CODFA.

Good evening. I’m Glenn Hansen, President of the Faculty Association and the Faculty Senate.

 

I will begin my comments by again thanking Ms. Mia Igyarto, for her extraordinary effort on behalf of the recently retired faculty who completed an earned compensation project. We truly appreciate your efforts to pay them in May and report the income to SURS as earned. Our hope is that there are no unfortunate consequences for the time shift.

 

Tonight, there are many decisions to be made by you the Board. However, I have not come here to critique. I have come with questions I can’t answer from my constituents.

 

From the Faculty:

 

1. A number of constituents want to know why many of you are distracted when there are guest speakers, especially students? Some of you are shuffling papers, whispering, or actually walking around to talk to someone during their comments.

 

2. Where does the $17M SURS payment liability come from? When I asked Dr. Breuder, 2½ years ago, he said from VP Tom Glaser. I received a one page copy from some document that turned out to be a report about the payments the State should have made in 2009 to comply with the Edgar Pension reform legislation. No proper citations. We’ve seen no report that the State is planning to have the districts cover its past borrowing from the state pensions. Under a proposed Illinois Policy Institute plan of defined contributions, the districts would pay 7%. That’s $7M on an $100M payroll. The College currently pays $0 for its employees’ pensions. Unless, you’re a Vice President or President. Then COD pays 8% of your gross salary for you to SURS beyond your salary.

 

Later in last month’s presentation, we were told COD’s liability was $42M. Where does that figure come from?

 

3. A perennial question is how do you always underspend your operating budget by 10% and then put the money in the bank to spend on other things not in the budget?

 

4. How can you spend every penny of the building referendum revenue and are only now consider the construction of a new classroom building? Debates about the shortage of classroom space dates back to before the planning stage of the BIC renovation 7 years ago.

 

5. Are you going to clearly and openly tell the Taxpayers and Students that you are using the money they paid for operating the College for buildings? Shifting funds into building funds happens all the time in districts, usually at negotiations time. But is it right? As taxpayers, we may have some building of our own we could do with that money.

 

6. Why are you planning building of classrooms, to be defined later, on West Campus rather than Central Campus so students could move between classes quickly and efficiently?


 

 

7. And the final question that I’m asked most. To what date has Dr. Breuder’s contract been extended? I can’t answer it. When I asked VP Sands Vankerk, 2 years ago, she didn’t know; but she asked the President. His reply relayed to us was “they have my contract, they can figure it out.” So, how many times have you automatically extended the President’s contract without putting anything on the public record? This is not harassment, just a question from the staff I can’t answer.

 

Thank you.

Comments from Richard Jarman, Vice President CODFA

Jarman discusses his association with theater at COD which began many years ago. He describes how he viewed performances of the Buffalo Theater Company in order to write up the assigned critiques of performances required by the acting  class he was taken. Thus he began his time as a regular attendee of theater performances and as a performer. He speaks of the positive impact that BTE has had on young minds for many years at COD. Hundreds of people have signed a petition to support keeping BTE on campus. His words are sadly not a plea for BTE but a requiem, as BTE is no more. Jarman would like to ask Why? BTE was very relevant to COD students, why is it gone? Why is not being replaced?

COD student Stephanie Torres speaks. President of SLC. She reports on a conference in Springfield on student leadership. She reflects on how this conference helped her to wonder about some things at COD. New Student Orientation is very important for students, and is available to all students. This and other opportunities for COD students are very important.

Public Comments.

Adam Andrejewski. “You have a real stark culture contrast in front of you today.” You have a COD Vice President make an ad hominem attack on me for raising questions.” “What kind of culture are you instilling here when your President at one meeting says he doesn’t really need another building but then at commencement invites the Govern0r during the heightened political season to say that a 30 million dollar project is now going to be a 50 million dollar project because the Gov gives 20 million dollars during the political season. He asks the BoT how long they will let the president propose unnecessary and vague projects. “This is a substantial question of government and it is in your lap.”

There is stunned silence in the room.

Chairman Birt moves to the Consent Agenda. Asks for a motion to approve the Consent Agenda. Trustee McGuire makes a shout out to the Naperville Rotary Club and the Downtown (Naperville) Rotary for their contributions to COD scholarships.

No further commentary on the Consent Agenda. Acting Secretary Svoboda reads through the Consent Agenda.

 

 

 

 

 

From faculty: Why are so many of you distracted when we have guest speakers, especially student?

Where does the 17 million dollars SURS liability come from?

 

 

Special Meeting

At 6:45 the Special Meting to discuss the proposed budget commences.

Trustee Escamilla absent for class. Trustee O’Donnell present by phone. Trustee Svoboda takes the role of secretary.

Chairman Birt invites comment from the public to discuss the budget.

Adam Andrzejswki from For the Good of Illinois is speaking. He addresses COD’s financial situation which he says has lots of money in reserve.  He discusses a FOIA request he submitted. Questions why Governor Quinn found 20 million dollars to give to COD for construction of a new building, calling it a “pay to play” strategy with the Governor, getting money from the Gov in exchange for votes.

Trustee McGuire speaks on the budget.  18.5% of revenue comes from the State of Illinois. Shout out to the State of Illinois for the grants and payments, including SURS that the State gives to COD. It is not the 7% we usually hear about.

Trustee Savage lauds the time and effort that went into putting together the budget booklet. But she has a couple questions.

The EAB floor — have we hit that floor or do you think it is still going to go down?

Glaser responds that stabilization of the housing market is such that perhaps next year it may go down further.

Trustee Savage asks about how many payments COD can expect next year from the state?

Glaser responds that 8 payments are likely.

Trustee Savage observes about a 2.7 million increase in the fund balance, 2.2 million generated from a tuition increase. She expresses concern that the tuition increase will go together with an increase in the fund balance and she is uncomfortable with that.

VP Glaser then shows a slide about what is included in the budget. He indicates that it shows that the BoT has already agreed upon the items included in the budget, contracts with salary increases and tuition increases. The BoT already voted yes on these.

Trustee Savage asks about the impact of property tax increases.

Trustee Hamilton says the abatement was about 4 or 5 million.

Chair Birt reminds everybody that this is the public hearing and that the BoT will discuss it later during the regular meeting.

Trustee Hamilton says that over the last 3 to 4 years the budget has projected losses or small profits but in reality over 150 million or more in cash has been accumulated. “What is wrong with that?” Do we have enough money to not raise taxes or increase tuition. In reality the budget is so off that we do not make the right decisions when we look at the projected budget. We have a lot of money in the bank. We will be making more than 20 -30 million in profit as we have for the last three years. Hamilton questions whether a tuition increase is needed because when the book is closed we end up 20-30 million dollars above what was projected. There is a lot of cash accumulation. We Trustees need to realize that we represent the taxpayers and the students as much as the College and we need to keep that in mind.

Glaser responds:59% DuPage County tax rate increase. That is true, but it is not the whole story. The reason the tax rate has gone up 59% is because of the decrease in the accessed valuation of the District. The District’s EAV increased on average 7.7% per year. He says that our operating tax rate would have decreased 21% if the EAV hadn’t changed. Also Board approved bond issues are included in that projection. Glaser questions the previous speaker’s (Andrejewski) questioning of COD’s transparency.  Glaser notes that For the Good of Illinois has made a number of FOIA requests of COD and other community colleges. He mentions openthebooks.com which is a project of this group  — he could not find that group on the web. Glaser says that COD practices transparency. All budgets are available on line as is the five year financial plan. All our official statements supporting bond issues are also available on-line. Each month COD lists all payments made by COd including who and how much is spent. The agendas are posted and available online for anybody who wants to see them. Glaser questions how Andrejewski and For the Good of Illinois can lecture COD about transparency when his group posts no such information on-line. COD could not find Form 990 (required by IRA) of this group — Glaser questions why this group does not have these items.

Glaser indicates that he has spent a lot of time researching For the Good of Illinois, Andrejewski.

Andrejewski asks to respond. Chair Birt gives him one minute.

He contends that all records are on-line and can be found. He says furthermore “you have forgotten the difference between a public entity and a private entity.”  He says  things that public entities are. Government is required to disclose on a timely basis all expenditures. His group advocates public not private transparency.The special meeting is adjouirned and the regular meeting begins.

No other comments on the budget from the public. Meeting adjourned until 7:00pm.