Mazzochi confirmed as College of DuPage chairwoman

 
 
Updated 4/22/2016 6:08 AM
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  • Deanne Mazzochi was elected Thursday night to become chairwoman of the College of DuPage board. She extended an open invitation to all the trustees to talk to her about establishing and implementing "good government principles."

    Deanne Mazzochi was elected Thursday night to become chairwoman of the College of DuPage board. She extended an open invitation to all the trustees to talk to her about establishing and implementing "good government principles." Daily Herald file photo

The new chairwoman of the College of DuPage board says she wants to discuss ways to "look forward" and "improve the college's future" with every trustee, including those who don't support her.

Deanne Mazzochi was elected to lead the panel that oversees the Glen Ellyn-based school during a Thursday night organizational meeting. Mazzochi had served as acting chairwoman since the former board chairwoman, Kathy Hamilton, unexpectedly resigned in December for personal reasons.

"Deanne was faced with a difficult circumstance," Trustee David Olsen said. "She's been able to serve in this role admirably and with grace and effectiveness for the college."

However, only four of the board's seven trustees backed Mazzochi's bid to become chairwoman. Trustees Dianne McGuire and Joseph Wozniak voted "present." Trustee Erin Birt didn't attend the meeting.

The votes were similar when Olsen was elected board vice chairman and Trustee Frank Napolitano was re-elected as board secretary.

Of course, the results weren't a surprise. The board has been split 4-3 for nearly a year, with McGuire, Wozniak and Birt in the minority and Mazzochi, Napolitano, Charles Bernstein and recent appointee Olsen in the majority.

Still, Mazzochi extended an open invitation to every trustee to talk to her about establishing and implementing "good government principles."

"It's my great hope that ... each of you will accept that invitation," she said. "I understand that not all of us have the same vision. If your heart and mind suggests that there's another pathway, let's be respectful of that, consider other alternatives, but ultimately, ground what we do in the best interests of the college."

College of DuPage has been dealing with various issues, including a decision by the Higher Learning Commission to place the school on two years' probation because of questions concerning its administrative practices and the dysfunction on the board.

After Hamilton resigned, the board experienced two months of gridlock because Birt, McGuire and Wozniak boycotted meetings, in part because they wanted an organizational session held to choose a new chairman.

The board finally got a quorum in February when Olsen was appointed to the panel.

Mazzochi says the board has since made a tremendous amount of progress. She said, "We will continue to thoughtfully and professionally deliberate the many substantive issues we still face as we move the college forward."

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