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.


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.