Editorial on COD: How the College of DuPage board can get back to work
As Assistant City Editor Robert Sanchez describes elsewhere in the paper today, it was an incredibly bizarre seven days for College of DuPage politics last week.
Even by typically bizarre COD political standards.
The week started with Board Chairwoman Kathy Hamilton abandoning the revolution she had provoked and submitting her resignation for unexplained "personal" reasons with such little warning that her chief ally, Vice Chairwoman Deanne Mazzochi, apparently learned of it from a reporter.
It ended with the old-guard faction of Dianne McGuire, Erin Birt and Joseph Wozniak saying there are so many important things for the board to address that they are going to boycott the meetings until further notice.
In between, there were (let's see if we can keep it all straight) confrontations to try to block the old-guard faction from full access to the legal bills; full-scale confusion over whether Mazzochi is now board chairwoman; calls to fire the Hamilton hires and hangers-on; revelations that Hamilton and her faction of "reformers" have rung up more than $3.35 million in legal and financial consulting bills in little more than a half year.
And oh yes, the college was placed on probation by the Higher Learning Commission with a report that blisters almost everyone except the students and faculty -- including most pointedly the dysfunctional board that oversees the college.
Let's all take a deep breath and get back to the mission of educating adults.
Let's act like the adults we are trying to educate.
It ought to be a first point to accept and acknowledge that every trustee is owed the full access to documents that -- until last spring -- they've always had. Let's put the favoritism nonsense away.
The old-guard boycott is, we think, inadvisable public relations and potentially harmful to the college's day-to-day operations, but keeping emotions and imagery out of it for the moment, it must be acknowledged that the strategy is a response to a significant grievance.
Under Hamilton, these opposition trustees weren't treated fairly or given the access to information and the agenda that is obligated to every board member.
Mazzochi has called for an atmosphere of civility, and we echo that call and take her at her word. She and her allies must help lead the board in that direction by making a real commitment to fair and equal access for all.
It was a trying week. But those that follow don't have to be. All it takes is a willingness on both sides to work together even despite differences.