COD forms presidential search committee

Fourteen area residents are joining College of DuPage board Chairwoman Kathy Hamilton and Trustee Frank Napolitano on the panel that will screen applicants seeking to become the school's next president.

The members of COD's presidential search committee were picked by Hamilton and Napolitano and represent the business, legal, financial, government, and education communities in District 502, officials said. Two prominent volunteers on the committee are state Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton and former state Rep. Lee Daniels.

"I am very deeply grateful that these talented civic and educational representatives have joined our effort," Hamilton said in a statement. "Their personal commitment will help us attract presidential candidates of the highest caliber, because candidates care about community support. These individuals show unparalleled support for COD at this crucial time in its history."

Acting Interim President Joseph Collins has been overseeing the daily operations of the state's largest community college since April, when President Robert Breuder was placed on paid administrative leave amid state and federal investigations into COD's spending and administrative practices.

While Breuder is scheduled to retire in March, the board has initiated termination proceedings against him - a process that could take months.

In the meantime, Hamilton will serve as chairman of the presidential search committee, which includes a nonvoting student representative.

Hamilton said during Thursday night's COD board meeting that the role of the committee members will be to go through all the resumes from applicants.

"They will be sorting through the resumes and identifying the final three to four candidates that our board will be looking at to select a president," she said.

COD trustees will make the final selection of the next president.

Hamilton said COD is seeking a leader who will "restore trust, uphold standards and encourage new heights of academic achievement."

In addition to Hamilton, Napolitano, Ives and Daniels, the other members of the search committee are: Earl Dowling, teachers union President Glenn Hansen, Miquel Hernandez, Nimish Bhatt, Heidi Huizinga, Maren McKellin, Nobuko Kudo, Paul LeFort, Elizabeth Martinez, Cheryl Baunbach-Caplan, Sherman Neal and Mike Webster.

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