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posted: 2/1/2015 5:01 AM

Editorial: Why did COD give Breuder a buyout?

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  • Over 300 people attended the College of DuPage board's special meeting to address the severance package awarded to President Robert Breuder.

      Over 300 people attended the College of DuPage board's special meeting to address the severance package awarded to President Robert Breuder.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

 
By Daiy Herald Editorial Board

Here's how most of the work world works:

If you go to your boss and say you'd like to resign, one of a couple of things will happen.

1. Your boss may try to persuade you to stay, and depending on the circumstances and how valuable you are, that may even include opening up the checkbook.

2. The boss may be OK with you leaving. If that's the case, all you will get is best wishes, "Sorry to see you go. Thanks for all the hard work." You're leaving. Why would they pay you not to work?

Sometimes the situation's a little different. Let's say the company is trying to reduce costs. You go to your boss and say you'd be willing to leave but only if there's an incentive to do it.

In that case, the company might come up with some money. But usually that's when your position is going to be eliminated. Always, it's when the company's going to save more by paying you to leave than it would spend if you stay.

There's one more scenario. In this one, you don't go to your boss. Your boss comes to you. In this case, your boss says, we want you to leave.

In that case, if the company's got some legal vulnerability, you may get a buyout. It may even be sizable. From the company's standpoint, paying you off may be cheaper than going to court.

But if that's the case, you may get your money but you don't get to stick around. You get your money but you're shown the door.

As anyone who's read this page knows, we've long been supporters of the College of DuPage. And we believe President Robert Breuder has done a lot of good to reinvent the institution during his tenure.

But try as we might, we don't understand what the majority of the board at the College of DuPage is thinking or doing in awarding Breuder a $762,000 buyout package for no apparent reason.

We don't think the board majority understands what it has done either. By approving the package, it has frittered away scarce public money. And it has lit a flame of public protest that will not be extinguished.

The package, which also includes an agreement to name the new Homeland Security Education Center after Breuder and was approved and re-approved with only one dissenting vote, doesn't fit any of the scenarios we described in our introduction.

He's getting a big chunk of money not to work. But he's also working for another 16 months.

Is he quitting? If so, why is he getting the large severance?

Is he being fired? If so, why is he still on the job?

The board owes the public a full explanation.

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