College of DuPage President Robert Breuder's contract has been extended another year because he is doing exactly what the board of trustees wants, Chairman David Carlin said.
The board voted Tuesday to keep Breuder as head of the state's largest community college through June 2016. It was such a resounding measure of support from the eight trustees that the contract extension was placed on the consent agenda as a "standard item" for approval.
The move comes while Breuder and the college's lawyers continue their battle with Glen Ellyn officials over jurisdiction of the 273-acre campus.
Breuder argues the college isn't subject to several village ordinances and codes, such as building inspections.
Village officials have met with third-party architects and engineers hired by the college to verify four new or renovated buildings were constructed properly.
On Monday, the village board could consider issuing occupancy permits for the buildings -- just weeks before fall classes start.
Carlin said the board has backed Breuder, and the contract extension represents a vote of confidence.
"In the time I've been on the board, there have been three separate boards made up of people of all different walks of life -- Republicans, Democrats, independents," Carlin said. "They've all directed the president to do exactly what he has been doing with the village of Glen Ellyn. He takes direction from the board. It's misdirected to blame him for doing his job."
Breuder signed a three-and-a-half year deal when he joined COD in late 2008. Just months later, in April 2009, the board extended his contract another three years.
Under the original contract, Breuder was paid $334,000, with 3 percent increases scheduled each year. By 2015, he will be making close to $390,000 a year.
Carlin said an additional increase in 2015 is dependent on what happens with other employee groups, such as the teachers union.
"Since he came to COD, Dr. Breuder's thought has been you should level the playing field and compensate people equally rather than have disparities with other employee groups," Carlin said. "If others get no increases, there's a good chance administrators would get no increase."
Carlin said Breuder was being pursued earlier this year by another college looking for a president. But Carlin also said Breuder told him he wants to "complete the painting of COD" by seeing through the college's facilities master plan.
Before joining COD, Breuder was president of Harper College in Palatine for 11 years. He started his career as an instructor of botany at Paul Smith's College in New York in 1967, and later became the youngest community college president in the nation at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Penn., at the age of 36.