COD committed to moving forward

  • Ann Rondeau

    Ann Rondeau

 
By Ann Rondeau
Guest columnist

It is my distinct honor and privilege to report today as the sixth president of College of DuPage. With July 1 marking the beginning of our 50th Anniversary year, College of DuPage is, in my view, this community's best resource to meet a dynamic economy and ensure our citizens a place within it. We are on the front lines, providing high-quality, affordable education, excellent transfer opportunities to four-year institutions, training for good jobs right now, lifelong learning and cultural experiences. We are agile. We are adaptable. We are committed to maintaining and increasing our value in coming years and being the state's and region's flagship community college. We will move forward as a leader in the national conversation about how to best educate our citizens.

How will we do this? We will establish a new level of trust within our community. We will be a pacesetter for improved governance in higher education. We will seek new perspectives and continue to be a forward-thinking institution. We will further align our services with the community's needs. As we reaffirm our accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission, the experience will create value by giving us the opportunity to positively engage in learning new things about ourselves. We will come through this process even better positioned to serve you and the region.

We will also emphasize our shared governance structure to give voice to the good ideas of our faculty, students, and staff. At the same time, our antennae will be pointed outward to listen and understand how we can serve our constituents and community members.

We at College of DuPage are grateful to and mindful of our taxpayers and donors who support us so generously. As our Board Chairman Deanne Mazzochi wrote last month in the Daily Herald, you the public spoke to the college, and we heard you. We will continue to hear you. We are accountable to you. Accountability and transparency are not threats. They are opportunities.

I have already been asked on more than one occasion what "notes to self" I have made during the weeks leading up to taking the reins at COD. What immediately comes to mind is the treasure that is our outstanding faculty, staff and alumni and how well they work together for the good of the college, our students and our community. For instance, we have partnered annually with Easter Seals for 16 years to host a photography exhibition to explore the lives of children with special needs. COD Photography Professor Terry Vitacco founded and coordinates the program.

There is our partnership with Fermilab to present the annual Physics Slam. Emceed by our own Speech Professor Chris Miller and co-coordinated by COD Physics Professor Tom Carter, the next Physics Slam will take place Friday, Nov. 18. In addition, COD Cares, our college volunteer corps, completes a wide range of monthly service projects around the community. COD Cares recently sent 20 volunteers to a Habitat for Humanity event, and this fall, we will participate in a "Manual Labor of Love" Serve-a-thon during which 14 area organizations in one day will receive assistance from our COD Action Heroes.

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As we enter our 50th anniversary year, we invite you to visit our Glen Ellyn campus or one of our centers around the District. Join us for our 50th Anniversary community kick-off concert with the band Brass Transit at the McAninch Arts Center outdoor pavilion on Aug. 26. Come to our Sept. 17 COD Food Truck Rally and 5k race. Get in the school spirit with Homecoming Oct. 1 as we play Ellsworth Community College. Please visit www.cod.edu/50 for details. During these events and at any time during the year, we hope you will talk with us and connect with our open community of learners.

I believe you will see and feel our joy, enthusiasm and pride. We are your College of DuPage.

Dr. Ann Rondeau is the new president of the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.

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