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.

Wrapping up the May 2014 Meeting: Thanks for Visiting Our Blog!

At the most recent meting of the COD Board of Trustees, May 22, 2014, important topics of discussion were the college’s new budget and five-year plan, as well as a proposed new academic building. There was also a long consent agenda, adopted without discussion, that included many construction bids, purchase orders, and personnel decisions. The faculty contract was extended for two years. For more details, please read the posts below in full and reference the board packet, which can be found at this link: http://www.cod.edu/about/board_of_trustees/pdf/packets/2014may22packet.pdf

COD’s FY2015 budget was formally presented last night. The public has 30 days to comment. Budget documents are posted on the College website, linked from this page: http://www.cod.edu/about/office_of_the_president/planning_and_reporting_documents/financial.aspx (Scroll down below the Annual Financial Reports.)

The purpose of this blog is to provide almost-real-time reporting from College of DuPage Board of Trustees meetings. The next meeting will be Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 7pm.

Posts from previous meetings, going back to December 2013, appear below. To suggest a correction of any error in these posts, please email codfaboardblog@gmail.com.

We encourage anyone who has questions or comments about the meetings to direct them to COD’s Trustees, elected representatives who oversee the College of DuPage on behalf of the citizens of the district. More information about the BOT and the trustees can be found here: http://www.cod.edu/about/board_of_trustees/

More information about the College of DuPage Faculty Association can be found at our website, codfaculty.org. CODFA is composed of the members of the full-time faculty and elects its own officers and Senate. This blog is a project of the Communications Committee of the Faculty Senate.

May 22, 2014 – Post 4

New Business: For Approval

1. The historical preservation policy was unanimously adopted.

2. The resolution in support of awarding baccalaureate degrees was moved. An amendment was worked out with Trustee Svoboda (read by President Breuder) that reaffirms our commitment to the two-year college mission. The amended motion passed unanimously.

3. Homeland Security Training Center ICCB application passed unanimously.

4. The faculty contract extension passed unanimously without discussion.

5. Compensation increases also passed.

6. New AAS Degree in Game Animation and Design also approved.

7. Board of Trustees budget approved for FY15.

Announcements

Trustees reported on their work in Springfield at a Lobby Day with the Community College Trustees Association and with the COD Foundation. Of note, work with legislators on getting reimbursement for veterans benefits. The trustees also shared several anecdotes from graduations and community outreach events.

Next meeting Thursday, June 26, 2014, 7pm.

Adjourned.

May 22, 2014 – Post 3

The Consent Agenda

No items were pulled for discussion. Secretary O’Donnell read the full agenda. These are listed in the board packet and include bids for construction and maintenance items, purchase orders for equipment and services, personnel actions, and construction change orders.

The Consent Agenda was unanimously approved by roll call.

For Information: New Business

Discussion of the New Teaching and Learning Center: Trustee Savage asked for projected enrollment based on demographics such as k-12 enrollment. Trustee Svoboda mentioned that alternatives for additional space might be found, such as renting space. Trustee Hamilton raised again the issue of how we should understand the five-year plan vs the budget in relation to our responsibility to taxpayers. She requested an analysis of usage in the buildings so that the needs can be understood more clearly. What are the risks in the face of the trends? Hamilton continued by saying we have to monitor our spending and be analytical in making a decision. She said she looks forward to working on the project.

Breuder responded by saying, “I don’t have a need to build another building” and that it would be easier not to; however we are oversubscribed at key times, and if the growth prognosis is good, no matter where the growth comes from, we need more classroom space.

Breuder asked administrators to address the issue. EVP Joe Collins spoke to ongoing scheduling problems especially at certain times, and as we grow new programs, we will have even more students. VPAA Kartje referenced the issue of teaching classes in spaces they are not designed for, as well as direct conflicts between programs. West side of campus has many specialized classrooms for vocational/technical programs but can’t accommodate the general education courses that the students in those programs also need. The deans were also called to speak and mentioned issues specific to their divisions.

Breuder recapped the issue and called it a “no-brainer.” Trustee Svoboda addressed the difficulty of teaching classes in spaces that are not appropriate for the subject matter.

May 22, 2014 – Post 2

(Reports, Continued)

Student Trustee’s Report . . . was brief and difficult to hear. (sorry)

President’s Report called on Earl Dowling again to present about new initiative to recruit African American students. Members of the Diversity Initiative Advisory Committee were introduced including faculty and staff as well as community representation (faculty included Dana Thompson, Counseling; Linda Elaine, English; and Theo Darden, Criminal Justice; Academic Affairs leadership included Emmanuel Awuah, Assoc VP Academic Affairs).
Jim Bente was called on to present preliminary results of the PACE survey which explores the internal college climate (will be used to triangulate with two other significant surveys’ results which are not yet available). Bente explained our results in leadership style with great pride, showing an increase in ratings showing our improvement within the “Consultative” or Level 3 (of 4) Leadership style among all the constituency groups. He reviewed the top five specific questions that got the highest ratings as well as the five questions that received the greatest improvement since 2010. He also reviewed several college-specific questions that improved significantly since 2010. Bente was very enthusiastic about the results overall and stated that the quality of the climate is very strong.
Trustee Savage asked about the number and rate of responses. Response rates overall were very high in all employee categories and there were over 700 respondents total.

Employee and Community Comments

Glenn Hansen, President, COD Faculty Association: Good evening, I’m Glenn Hansen, President of the Faculty Association and Faculty Senate.
As summer begins, finally, we can look forward to working on issues that confront us all, without contract negotiations looming on the horizon.
I’d like to welcome many new faculty to College of DuPage. I hope you enjoy your time here as much as I do. We also wish farewell to many who are retiring this month due to pension reform or are being displaced by the “Return to Work” legislation. We will miss your contributions and the students will miss your wisdom.
You, the Trustees have several important issues on your agenda, from the workplace survey to the future mission of the College. I hope you consider the data carefully.
Of particular interest to the Faculty is the contract extension. It’s been an interesting process to say the least. When the topic of extension surfaced again in late October / early November we were interested in solving problems the existing contract created for all parties. Money was not a serious topic as other contracts had already been extended at 3% on the pool.
The process moved along well with in-depth discussions of the limited number of issues brought to the table in mutual agreement. In February, I mentioned to a few Trustees that we were negotiating an extension. This precipitated a change in the tenor of the negotiations and and the topics being discussed. The end result was a withdrawal of 2 key issues, delayed implementation, and some displeasure on both sides.
I have talked with several of you about the implementation timeline. Since the time that our contract was signed in 2012, we have resolved several problems through discussion, grievances, arbitrations, and Memos of Understanding – probably more MOUs than I have signed in both previous contracts. This extension solves more issues.
The biggest issue concerns online instruction. Since August 2012, VP Kartje and I have agreed that online instruction is not a new delivery method. It’s time now to move into the 21st century. Another year of paying instructors per head serves no one. Associate Deans must calculate load in multiple ways for adjunct and full-time faculty. Professors don’t know their loads until 10th day, and students are not served well by this uncertainty. Who wants to teach in an environment where you don’t now your load until 10 days into the semester? We need to promote innovation. Implementing the new approach of a “class is a class” now encourages more faculty to teach online and should not cost the college any money.
Let’s not spend another year working through problems, please modify your agenda item to implement the contract now.
Thank you.

Eva Maria Raepple, Professor of Philosophy, spoke about the importance of an outdoor site where students can come into direct contact with the environment. The goal of environmental ethics is to come to terms with our human power over the environment and our responsibility to it. Books and lectures are important tools, but we need to bridge the gap so that students have direct experience with the environment. Raepple argued that having an outdoor demonstration site is essential to have on campus even while she supports the new partnership with the Forest Preserve District.

Chris Goergen, Professor of Political Science, addressed the board about the loss of wisdom and experience as our retired faculty are being forced to stop teaching. He read quotes from several colleagues who wrote farewell emails and expressed sorrow at the loss to students. He argued that other colleges have found ways to work within the law regarding annuitants

Parker Rechsteiner, Editor of the Courier and Honors student implored the trustees to keep the Community Farm on campus because it teaches sustainability in a more visceral way. He referenced the recent White House report on climate change and also tied the Community Farm to the new branding of the “New School of Thought.” The Farm may not be “essential,” but we should not be limited to the essentials.

Isola Metz, community member, asked that the Community Farm not be completely removed from campus. Not all students will go off campus. A creative way to keep the Farm experience on campus should be found, such as using a rooftop. Many different disciplines and programs can be touched by the issues of growing food. She made several further comments about learning lessons from gardening and also made the point that the Farm could be used for outreach and appeal to community members. She also mentioned Nature Deficit Disorder. She said that she would like to see a picture of the college president standing with the beautiful harvest bounty as a PR shot.

Adam Andrzejewski, For the Good of Illinois, spoke about high property taxes, declining property values, and increasing student debt in the face of rising tuition. He asked the board if it is being diligent in spending money. He asked Breuder to cut his own compensation, freeze the property tax levy, and freeze tuition.

Sam Ortega-Guerrero, outgoing Student Leadership Council President, spoke about his personal accomplishments at COD and personally thanked President Breuder for his mentorship and guidance.

May 22, 2014 – Post 1

Call to Order, Roll Call, and Approval of Agenda

All are present. Agenda unanimously approved.

Presentations

  • Naperville Center. Presentation by Bailey Edward architecture firm representatives. Five goals of renovation including added light, new student assistance area. Themes of the renovation, including landscaping, are discovery and transformation. Landscaping will be constantly changing (not clear whether this will be a natural process or involve constant replanting). Building is being re-engineered for energy conservation. Color and “layering” in design adds to feeling of discovery. Some walls will be transparent. Slides showed interior and exterior views. There were several favorable comments and questions.
  • Model UN. Professor David Goldberg, Political Science, reported on a trip to Charlotte, NC with students and co-adviser Professor Christian Goergen. The Model UN team won five awards and competed successfully against teams at the national level. Our students were among the best prepared. Two students spoke about their experiences researching their topics in advance, debating with other delegates, and negotiating resolutions. The club president mentioned his appreciation of funding for the team since they were able to focus on their mission rather than fundraising. He emphasized that the central goal of Model UN is to pursue excellence and reinforce character. “The measure of a college is not its aesthetics but the excellence of its students.”
  • Budget. Glazer, Sapyta, and Vergilio represented the Finance and Budget office. The budget has to be available for public comment for 30 days. Budget environment includes the State of Illinois with its debt and pension liabilities unresolved. Assume that state funding will continue to be only partially paid with 8 out of 12 payments in budget; assume that Veterans scholarships will remain unfunded (about $800k). Several board decisions have hedged COD against these issues. Extensive construction and renovation will give way to maintenance – our oldest building will be from 2009, which reduces our liabilities. Labor costs include increases in salaries, higher health insurance costs, and new staff. In presenting the budget highlights, Glaser mentioned that while some people feel that the college is all about landscaping and construction, the priority reflected in the budget is teaching & learning. Slides and detail were drawn from the “Budget Book” provided to the trustees (this post will be updated later with a link to budget information provided to the public, assuming we can find it). http://www.cod.edu/about/office_of_the_president/planning_and_reporting_documents/financial.aspx
    Five-year plan based on continuing increases in enrollment, but significant risks in loss of state funding, “cadillac tax” against health care plans.
    Trustees Savage and McGuire asked questions… There was some exchange over projected increases in enrollment; it was mentioned that there is likely to be a “top” to the number of students we can bring in.
    Trustee Hamilton raised concern about depending on enrollment growth in order to fund a new building project – that growth is not reflected in the five-year plan. Breuder addressed this in terms of choosing between conservative fiscal management and “rolling the dice.”
    Summer enrollments are down overall, here and elsewhere, which projects enrollment going down for Fall.
    VP Dowling was called on to present an internal campaign, “Chaparral Pride,”
    in which stories are being collected among people who work all around COD (not just in admissions) who are recruiting new students to meet a new record high enrollment for Fall 2014.
    President Breuder said that he wants to budget conservatively so that extra revenues can be used later, rather than having to ask for budgeted funds to be given back.
    There was quite a bit of discussion about this topic with Trustees asking questions and Breuder and Glaser responding. Breuder mentioned several times that there are 4% salary increases across the board to all who work at COD and that is a significant budget factor.

 

May 22, 2014 – Meeting Preview

Tonight’s board packet can be downloaded in full from this link:
http://www.cod.edu/about/board_of_trustees/pdf/packets/2014may22packet.pdf

To make the packet easier to review, save it to your computer and open it in Adobe Reader. Under the View menu, select Navigation Panels, then select Bookmarks. An outline of the full document will appear on the left side of the pdf.

Items of note from the agenda:

  • The Consent Agenda includes a number of substantial construction bids.
  • New Business Item (for Information) 10.A.2 gives details of a proposed new academic building.
  • A two-year extension of the contract for CODFA, the full-time faculty association, is up for approval.