COD interim president withdraws from consideration for permanent post
The search for a new president at the College of DuPage took an unexpected twist Tuesday when interim President Brian Caputo abruptly withdrew his name from consideration just hours before he was scheduled to be introduced to the public as one of three finalists for the post.
No explanation was given and Caputo could not be reached for comment. He has been serving as interim president since Jan. 1 when he was named to replace Ann Rondeau, who stepped down after roughly 2½ years to accept a post as president of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
Before being named interim president, Caputo served as COD's vice president of administrative affairs and treasurer.
COD board Chairman Frank Napolitano would not say why Caputo decided to withdraw.
"This is a private decision that he made, so I'm going to respect his privacy," Napolitano said.
Caputo notified Napolitano late Monday night that he was dropping out of the search process. Napolitano urged him to "sleep on it" and confirmed his intentions Tuesday morning.
"People change their minds," Napolitano said. "It's not an absolute shock, but it's certainly surprising."
Napolitano said the board believes Caputo has "done a great job" as interim president. Caputo will continue to serve in that role until the board names the new president. Once the board selects Rondeau's successor, Caputo will return to his previous position as vice president of administrative affairs and treasurer, Napolitano said.
Caputo also will give a "state of the college" address at a community breakfast Wednesday morning.
COD Faculty Association President Shannon Toler said she is not familiar with the reasons for Caputo's withdrawal. The union has maintained a "very neutral" position in the search for a new president and wanted to hear from all three candidates through the forums, Toler said. Caputo is "absolutely viewed as a valued colleague," she said.
"Frankly, he's a very respected member of our college community," she said.
Caputo's withdrawal leaves COD's board with two presidential candidates for the state's largest community college: Johnny Moore and Ken Trzaska.
Moore, who appeared at a public forum Monday, has 29 years of experience in higher education, including 27 at two-year community colleges across the country. He currently serves as president of Pierpoint Community & Technical College in Fairmont, West Virginia.
Trzaska, the other remaining candidate, is scheduled to appear at a public forum at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Student Services Center on the school's Glen Ellyn campus at 425 Fawell Blvd. Trzaska is president of Seward County Community College in Liberal, Kansas.
The three finalists were recommended by a 16-member search committee.