COD reverses decision on candidate forum

After pulling the plug on an upcoming candidate forum organized by College of DuPage's adjunct association, school administrators have reversed their decision.

COD Adjunct Association President Cheryl Baunbach-Caplan confirmed Wednesday that the March 11 candidate forum is back on because officials reconsidered an opinion issued by the COD board's attorney, Ken Florey.

Florey said last week that holding a forum on COD's Glen Ellyn campus would violate the board's rules on “prohibited political activities.”

But Baunbach-Caplan said the college learned that the attorney general's office had already ruled in another case that nonpartisan candidate forums don't violate ethics policies.

“Based on that information, the lawyer recommended to the (college) president that the decision could be reversed and we could hold the forum,” Baunbach-Caplan said.

The association, which is the union representing adjunct and part-time faculty, held similar events on campus in 2009, 2011 and 2013.

Organizers have said the association doesn't endorse candidates, and that the forum should be considered an informational event.

So Baunbach-Caplan said organizers are “quite happy” that the candidate forum will proceed as planned.

“We think the right decision was made in the end,” she said. “Obviously, we have to get everything back in place, but it looks like we can do that.

Twelve candidates are vying for three seats on the college board in the April 7 election.

The race has received a lot of attention following the controversial decision by the board to pay COD President Robert Breuder more than $762,000 to retire next year instead of fulfill the remaining four years of his contract.

Baunbach-Caplan said 10 candidates have confirmed they will attend the forum, scheduled for 3 to 6 p.m. March 11 in Room 2000 of the Student Resource Center on COD's campus.

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