College of DuPage

COD- Another No Bid Contract with Foundation Board Member- Part 1-

DuPage Co. (ECWd)

The pattern is clear! 

Prepare an approval document with minimal information, signatures of Administrators and the President, and place it on the agenda for approval, all while never including the very contracts being voted on!  (Board Approval Document)

How many no-bid contracts to businesses owned or managed by COD Foundation members were awarded without including the contract in the Board packet for them to review?  We have looked at three so far and all three follow the same pattern.

  • Herricane Graphics – Carla Burkhart, Foundation Board member – No contract in the Board Packet for approval
  • Roger C Marquardt & Company – Scott Marquardt, Foundation Board Member — No contract in the Board Packet for approval
  • US Bank -Marsha Cruzan, Foundation Board Member — No contract in the Board Packet for approval

The interesting part of this is the fact so far, each and every contract issue we have been tipped off about has been handled the same way.  No bid and no contract shared with the board for their review.  Only a Board Approval Document. Nothing like keeping the keepers of the purse in the dark!

Is issuing a no bid “exclusive” lease agreement with a Bank to operate on Community College property legal?

From the contract:  “College, to the best of its knowledge at the time of the execution of this Agreement, is unaware of any document or instrument of public record that the operation of the On-Site Branch or offering of any services therein by Bank is prohibited”  (See Section 5.2 of COD/US Bank Lease Agreement)

Does anyone else find it odd that the College is basically saying since we can’t find anything that prohibits this action it must be OK for us to do it?

Again, this was a No Bid, No RFP contract with a business tied directly to a COD Foundation Board member.

Marsha Cruzan is the COD Foundation Treasurer, and according to information on the COD Foundation Member web-site she is Head of Commercial Banking (Chicago Division) and Market President U.S. Bank.

The US Bank code of Ethics and Business Conduct has an interesting 8 point questionnaire to guide their employees as it relates to Ethics and Business Conduct. (Click here for a copy of the Code of Ethics)

  1. Is it Legal? –  Stay tuned for this multi-part series on that.
  2. Does it comply with our policies?
  3. Does it reflect our values?
  4. Does it protect US Bank’s interest?
  5. Would it look OK in the News?I think we all know this DOES NOT look good in the news!  US Bank President enters no bid contract with College where she is the Treasure of the College Foundation! Nope, that headline DOES NOT look good for US Bank……in my opinion.
  6. Would your managers, our leaders, and our shareholders approve?
  7. Would your friends, family, and community approve? – A fair number of the community does not approve!
  8. Is it the right thing to do? – You decide!

The best part of their 8 question guideline is what is just below it!

“If you answered “NO” to any of these questions, don’t do it.”

Ms. Cruzan has been attending numerous COD meetings and on multiple occasions voiced her opinion on matters to others from her seat in what appeared to be a confrontational manner.  Her most recent spectacle was to get into a verbal spat with a citizen at the last COD meeting that ended up with Police intervention.  After requesting the police to intervene in some type of verbal dispute, Cruzan ended up moving or being moved several rows back.  The person she was complaining about stayed where he was seated.

She claims, with a clear caustic attitude, to be the Bank President however according to US Bank, the President is Richard K. Davis.  Interestingly though, we find what is reported on the COD Foundation Board Member site is not quite what is listed with US Bank as it relates to her title.  Keep in mind, titles do funny things to some people.

  • From Foundation Web page – “Head of Commercial Banking (Chicago Division) and Market President”
  • According to US Bank she is the “Market President for U.S. Bank in Chicago” (Click here to read US Bank Press Release)

Is she the “Head of Commercial Banking” or is that an attempt of creating self importance?  If you are wondering why we even raise such a trivial issue, it is because of her response to being called a “Bank Manager” by John Kraft during his public comment portion of the meeting.  Recognizing his error in calling her a “manager” instead of President he let her know that he was sorry for the mistake and would make sure he would reflect her proper title in the future.

Her response tells us all we need to know!

“Manager is too lowly a position for me”

I wonder how all the “Bank Managers” working at US Bank would feel about such a comment from one of their Market Presidents?

10 replies »

  1. I reside in Wheaton, IL DuPage County and I’m not affiliated with COD in any manner. However, as a taxpayer I follow your site closely as it relates to the controversies at the college. Several alleged incidents of financial mismanagement and inequities have been brought to light, all of which are now being addressed by our State senators and representatives. While I applaud your due diligence, I also find a blog such as the attached about Ms. Cruzan to be distasteful and undermining to your objective …. you are a citizen ‘watchdog’ organization, not a gossip column, right ??

    I’m acquainted with Ms. Cruzan on a professional basis. She has an impeccable history of skill and integrity in her industry. She, like all COD board members, are unpaid volunteers. Your blog fails to mention the personal time she relinquishes to serve, her positive contributions or her charitable endeavors. I suggest you keep your organization’s eye on the ball, and forget the tabloid sensationalism; i.e. do what you do best. As for Ms. Cruzan …. she’s way out of your league boys & girls.

    • Steven, I have no doubt she has accomplished a lot and done a lot in her industry. That is not the point. All who witnessed the drama created are not blind however her drama has little to do with the article. This is about yet another no bid business dealing with a foundation member’s business. Its about a group of people at COD who dont share all the documents with the trustees. We are on point and rest assured, we are in a league of our own.

  2. I am a DuPage County resident and have been following this story closely. After reading this blog, I finally felt I needed to comment. I know Marsha Cruzan very well — probably 20 years — and I have to say that the person that is depicted above is not the Marsha Cruzan that I’ve been associated with. I really have to question the context in which this was taken. Marsha is a smart, admired, well respected, professional person who I feel privileged to know and associate with.

    • She must put on her other face when she goes to a College of DuPage board meeting. In the January 22, 2015 meeting, her and the guy she was with spent a considerable amount of time badgering a young couple trying to get them to move from where they were sitting. I spoke up and told them they had no right to tell that young couple to move, then Marsha told me to shut up while the guy with her flipped me off twice.

      Now at the February meeting, Marsha didn’t like something the guy in front of her said and thought she had the right to get the campus police to make him move. That failed, and she ended up having to move from where she was sitting.

      She did tell me that “branch manager is too lowly a position for me” – those are her words.

  3. I have done business with Marsha for over 5 years. She has never been anything but professional and caring and is an upstanding person in the Chicago area. You just need to Google her to see her many accomplishments and accolades. I do not understand where all of this noise is coming from. “Just because some people are fueled by drama doesn’t mean you have to attend the performance” CherylRichardson.com. I am glad I know her!

    • She must put on her other face when she goes to a College of DuPage board meeting. In the January 22, 2015 meeting, her and the guy she was with spent a considerable amount of time badgering a young couple trying to get them to move from where they were sitting. I spoke up and told them they had no right to tell that young couple to move, then Marsha told me to shut up while the guy with her flipped me off twice.

      Now at the February meeting, Marsha didn’t like something the guy in front of her said and thought she had the right to get the campus police to make him move. That failed, and she ended up having to move from where she was sitting.

      She did tell me that “branch manager is too lowly a position for me” – those are her words.

  4. Go back and take a look at the COD foundation back in the period of 2003-2008 while you’re at it. They had a Michael C. Brown on the foundation. Brown was a Vice President for Gilbane Building, which was the huge construction contractor at the time. He was appointed to the presidential search committee that brought in Sunil Chand. If you review the search committee documents, including the one appointing Brown to the committee, he is only listed as “Foundation Board Member,” with no mention of his ties to Gilbane. Everyone else on that presidential search committee had their employer listed, but not Brown.

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