Because of board policy restricting member speech, I must assert my First Amendment right in this letter as a citizen.
We all want to meet the educational needs of our community. I take that goal very seriously as the vice chairman at the College of DuPage. Recently, the COD board voted on a $50 million building for new classrooms. I was the only board member that opposed that investment. I felt the project warranted further analysis and definition of scope in terms of funding.
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The $50 million project was to be funded by existing COD cash of $30 million and $20 million from the state. The state funding was uncertain and the appropriateness of linking the $20 million to the building project has recently come into question.
The scope of the funding should not determine the scope of the project. The request for additional classroom space should have included a complete assessment of current and future needs. Investments should be measured against a defined business model and strategic plan and should be an open and transparent starting point for decisions. The impact of any investment on a strategic plan should be clear or made clear. This was not done.
It is your money: your state income taxes, your property taxes and your student tuition. It is in the best interest of the community, the college and its students that board decisions as well as the circumstances under which they are made see the light of day. We need to stop expansion for expansion sake. Our community deserves better.