It’s simple. Proven reform.
I was first elected to political office as part of the College of DuPage Board of Trustees reform team. Remember what you heard three years ago? Outrage: unaccountable and hidden spending; a $760,000 severance package for Dr. Robert Breuder; and a governance philosophy that taxpayers don’t count, insiders do.
See articles below for more details.
It was so bad that the Higher Learning Commission even placed the College on probation.
Where are we today?
Dr. Breuder? Terminated. Accountability is liberating.
When we hired our next President, we involved all of our stakeholders; held multiple public open meetings; and reiterated a return to transparency and real oversight.
We hired Dr. Ann Rondeau—a retired 3-star Vice Admiral from the U.S. Navy and former President of the National Defense University as our new College President—and the audience cheered. I led the contract negotiations to great results; even the Chicago Tribune agreed. See, “An austere contract for a College of DuPage president? Pinch us.”
A comprehensive performance audit. After the College lost over $2 million dollars in the IMET scandal, we hired an external vendor to watch our investments like a hawk—with daily compliance reporting. (“College of DuPage financial officials fired”) Our new Treasurer has an impeccable history in government finance. (“Caputo joins College of DuPage”)
The list goes on and on.
The final conclusion? The College of DuPage is “in a good place.”
The most recent Higher Learning Commission team report confirms, “College of DuPage has made significant progress on the governance and ethics issues that undermined the confidence of the public in the institution’s leadership.” (8/21/17 IAC Report at 7). See College of DuPage gains positive marks from Higher Learning Commission peer review team.
And because our ultimate goal is our students, for three years in a row, we froze tuition; froze the tax levy; and paid down debt—all while maintaining services, adding new programs, and assuming we would receive no state funding from Springfield.
This is what can happen when you apply good governance principles, and rigorous oversight.
Patti Bellock has long served District 47 in Springfield. When she announced her decision to retire, I received many phone calls and e-mails urging me to run for the seat. I am honored to have the support of so many who want to see me bring my skills to Springfield.
How would I look out for you and your family at COD? I’m not afraid to run towards a challenge or a controversy. Sometimes change can come in great leaps and bounds. Sometimes it requires incremental steps. Going door to door here is what I have seen: everyone understands that Illinois is in a tough place. They are also smart enough to know that Illinois is strongly divided on what to do, and that everyone needs to come to the table and find real compromises to achieve needed structural reform. They know that the last tax increase didn’t decrease Illinois’s structural debt one bit; and they don’t expect this one to either when Springfield won’t get its spending under control. They want to protect their schools, homes and families; a growing economy; and witness a return to responsible governance in Springfield.