COD agrees to pay presidential search consultant extra 40 hours

Updated 2/26/2016 11:41 AM

College of DuPage trustees voted 3-2 Thursday to pay a consultant an additional 40 hours to assist with the school's presidential search.

William Hay & Co., the executive search firm hired by the board in November, partnered with consultant Robert Dickeson in December to help with the search at a rate of $375 an hour, up to a total of $15,000.


But Paul LeFort, secretary of the presidential search committee, said Thursday it will take Dickeson more time to complete several tasks related to the search.

In particular, the committee requested that the board pay Dickeson for an extra 40 hours of work so he could participate in the process of interviewing about 20 presidential candidates and help narrow the scope of final candidates to three to five people.

Trustees Joseph Wozniak and Frank Napolitano voted no to the request. Trustees Erin Birt and Dianne McGuire were absent.

"Is it your belief that we're not going to see this again for another extension? Is this it?" Napolitano said.

LeFort said he believes it would be the last request. He added that the need for Dickeson to work additional hours was a result of the number of people who applied to the job -- more than 300, including current and former college presidents and nontraditional candidates, far beyond what was originally expected.

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"(Dickeson) has provided an incredibly valuable service and I think you will appreciate that when you see where we are on Monday night," LeFort said, referring to the committee's next meeting.

Wozniak said he was against the request because he felt the board should be more involved with picking the president, instead of spending thousands of dollars for someone to assist the search committee.

"When we did the presidential search last time the board was involved 100 percent," he said. "The primary purpose of being a trustee is the hiring and firing of the president. That's one of our duties."

Vice Chairwoman Deanne Mazzochi said the board isn't surrendering its opportunity to choose the college president by using a search firm and consultant. Instead, she said, the search committee is just helping the board solicit candidates and review hundreds of submitted resumes.


"I think that's something that's going to be of value to us," she said. "Obviously, when you see the results, if you don't like the results, you'll have the ability to say you approve of some of these candidates or you don't."

Acting Interim President Joseph Collins has been leading the college since former President Robert Breuder was placed on paid administrative leave last April.

According to a tentative timeline on COD's website, presidential search committee members will select three to five finalists in March. The board is set to interview the finalists in April.

Hours: Board debates if it's not involved enough in choosing president

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