College of DuPage

College of DuPage – Is Acting Interim President Collins Delusional? (UPDATED)

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

In light of all the scandals at the College of DuPage over the last 18 months, we believe it is fair to ask if Dr. Collins, current acting interim President, is delusional.

December 14th  Dr. Collins sends out this communication to employees at COD.

Good morning. As you may have heard, Kathy Hamilton resigned from our Board yesterday, citing personal reasons. Vice Chairman Deanne Mazzochi now assumes the duties of the Chairman. The Board will have sixty days to select a replacement to serve until the next consolidated election in April of 2017. If they are unable to agree on a replacement, the ICCB will appoint one. I do not expect that this development will have any effect on the daily operations of the College.

How can anyone conclude that a clearly divided 3-3 board is not going to have any effect on the daily operations of the College?  As was evident by the last trustee meeting, the above statement was proven 100% false.

Not only was he dead wrong about Hamilton’s resignation not having any effect on the daily operations of the College, he is wrong regarding the ICCB appointment matter.  It is not the ICCB that makes that appointment if they can’t select a person in that 60 day window.  It is the ICCB Chairman “The chairman of the State Board shall fill that vacancy”

In October I wrote this article regarding Dr. Kartje.  In light of the Higher Learning Commission’s position on the handling of the SLEA program under Kartje’s leadership, or lack of in this case, it’s fair to ask for her removal in our opinion.  Add the fact that on April 29, 2015, the Physical Therapist Assistant Educator Program at the College of DuPage was placed on “Probationary Accreditation” due to COD’s “inability to demonstrate compliance with a significant number of evaluative criteria“, we once again must look to the VPAA Kartje. She must be held responsible.

December 15th, the Faculty Senate President Glenn Hanson sent this communication to Dr. Collins:

Dr. Collins,
On Thursday, December 10, the Faculty Senate completed a document regarding Dr. Kartje. As you are aware the resolution had come up earlier this fall and was tabled due to a need for specifics. The resolution came back to the Senate floor for final discussion and editing last Thursday. This is a document that came from Faculty Senators representing their constituents. It was discussed and edited by all Senators before being approved unanimously with 2 abstentions.

Dr. Christine Monnier, Welfare Chair, and I have individually met with Dr. Kartje in the weeks prior to the completion of the document. We met to answer the question of what were our individual issues with Dr. Kartje. We presented our positions. I provide this information to frame the attached document as one created by Senators and faculty, not Dr. Monnier or myself. This is not an issue between her and us, it is a relationship problem with Senate and faculty members.

Understanding the complexity of this week due to developing issues, I have chosen to e-mail this to you. As always, I am very willing to meet with you to discuss the resolution or any related matters.

Sincerely,
Glenn

It is clear, just as we pointed out, Dr. Kartje is front and center of many of the problems at COD and now with multiple probation accreditation issues on her back, it’s only proper to ask for accountability and hold those responsible for this downward spiral at COD.

The response from Dr. Collins to faculty appears to indicate that the resolution provided was one  that included a demand for such accountability and responsibility.  A call for her to be reassigned effective Spring 2016 and that her appointment not be renewed, which would be consistent with proper leadership.

December 17th, Dr. Collins responds to Dr. Hanson, Senate President and requests he forward his response to all faculty and Senate.  I underlined some very interesting statements that I believe point to a delusional state of mind.

Dear Faculty Senate:
I have reviewed the Senate Resolution passed nearly unanimously on December 10. I understand your request is that I “reassign the VPAA effective Spring 2016 and that her appointment not be renewed.” I must say I am disheartened by this request. Since becoming the acting interim president in April of this year, I have made every effort to mend the relationship between the full-time faculty and the administration. I have specifically instructed my administrative team to use what I call the 3 C’s on a daily basis: communication, cooperation, and collaboration. Presenting a list of concerns such as you did, with the draconian request that to address the concerns I end the assignment of the VPAA, goes directly against all the efforts I have put forth to unify our groups.

Add to this the comments made in the Chicago Tribune by your Faculty Senate President this morning: “Glenn Hansen, the president of the faculty union, said the ruling is “gut-wrenching,” and he is concerned it will unfairly damage the college’s academic reputation. He called for the resignation of senior administrators and trustees who served during the years Breuder was president. That is when the majority of the infractions occurred. “In people’s minds, it will be a black mark on the entire college,” Hansen said. “It’s true the public’s trust has been violated. It has been violated by the very top administrators and trustees, not the faculty or students.” I can assure you that the entire administrative team, not just senior administrators, is offended by those remarks. By making those remarks, it only makes the healing process that much harder.

Again, I offer to work with you in the spirit of collegiality. That has been my commitment to you and continues to be. However, the administrative team is my team, and I am proud of the accomplishments we can document over the last five years, accomplishments that most other colleges would be envious of. I am proud of my administrative team both collectively and individually, and you can read this as a full vote of confidence not just in Dr. Kartje, but in each and every one of them.

Accordingly, I am not going to act on your resolution. I look forward to continuing to try to work with you and all of the full-time faculty at the College as we go through an incredibly difficult period, now that the HLC has placed the College on Probation for a two-year period. In my view, the full-time faculty, the administration, and the Board all need to put the good of the College ahead of any personal or individual concerns. If that doesn’t occur, the consequences for the College will be dire.

Dr. Joseph Collins
Acting Interim President
College of DuPage
630 942-3203

“I have made every effort to mend the relationship”

This is not a relationship problem Dr. Collins.  This is a competency problem and  it is clear, with the entire College placed on accreditation probation, not once, but twice this year, your Vice President of Academic Affairs appears to have failed to do her job and should be removed.  The accreditation matter demands bold moves  and if you believe this is nothing other than a relationship matter we must ask if you are delusional.?

“draconian request”

When a unanimous vote supports the removal of a person from their post it is hardly a draconian request.  Even the HLC pointed out nothing was done with the Senate vote of No Confidence on Brueder as being a serious problem.  It is safe to conclude a unanimous vote to remove part of the problem is one that best not be ignored like the last one.

“I can assure you that the entire administrative team, not just senior administrators, is offended by those remarks”

Dr. Collins, I can assure you that the public is offended by your remark, as it is a vast majority of the senior administration that has taken this school down to the point it is at right now, of which you are a party to.   The public was offended when the truth came out and spoke at the ballot box.  They are demanding people to be held responsible, and it appears you just want to hold hands and sing koom-by-ya – let’s all get along. Sorry, that doesn’t work!

However, the administrative team is my team, and I am proud of the accomplishments we can document over the last five years, accomplishments that most other colleges would be envious of

No Dr. Collins, it is Breuder’s team and they are a key part of the problems at COD.  What you call accomplishments are overshadowed by the fact this institution has been placed on probation not once but twice under this administrative team you call yours.  Just because there have been positives does not mean you ignore the negatives, which is what you are doing by not removing a single person, other than Glaser and Sypata, responsible for the College being placed on Probation twice this year.  Again we ask, are you delusional?

“I am proud of my administrative team both collectively and individually, and you can read this as a full vote of confidence not just in Dr. Kartje, but in each and every one of them.”

So the Acting Interim President of COD is proud of his administrative team and gives his full vote of confidence in all of them, including Dr. Kartje who is clearly at the root of the probation status.   This statement is not much different than what I wrote about regarding his response to the HLC in this article.  

I believe it is more than fair to ask, is Dr. Collins Delusional?

It appears he is unable to grasp the magnitude of this problem, as word has it he is of the opinion that all of these problems have been created by the Edgar County Watchdogs, Chicago Tribune, and a handful of faculty members.  Until Collins can accept these events are in fact real and not imaginary, I am afraid COD is on a death spiral.

All indications are there is a major need for a new President at COD that will clean the house of each and every person who has ignored the facts and actually contributed to the current downward spiral.   Collins’ position on matters appear to be a clear indicator that he too must go.

(UPDATED) – A Must Read! 

As if all the above are not enough to point to the need to remove Dr. Collins, his statement to the Daily Herald regarding hiring is a perfect example of why he must go.  It is clear he has no intention of following the law but instead following past practice which is not consistent with the law.

“Collins said part of the president’s job is to hire all the other administrators. So he’s going to hire the interim CFO and the interim controller, even though the board hired a search firm to find a permanent CFO and controller.”

I challenge him to present one shred of statutory direction giving him such authority! 

“Collins stressed that the board shouldn’t be involved in hiring any employee at the college other than the president. “The basic rule of all community college boards is they only have one employee,” he said.”

Basic  ‘rule’ of community college boards?

I don’t know about everyone else, but I believe his very quote is enough to remove him from office for failure to follow the LAW!

(110 ILCS 805/3-18) (from Ch. 122, par. 103-18)
Sec. 3-18.
Community college boards shall appoint a treasurer to serve at the pleasure of the board. The treasurer may not be a member of the community college board. The board of the community college district shall fix the compensation of the treasurer.
(Source: P.A. 78-669.)

The law states the board SHALL appoint.  How on earth have we gotten to the point in this state where an Acting Interim President is allowed to ignore the law and do what he wants, the law be damned.

What other explanation can their be other than delusional when it comes to this persons actions?

UPDATE #2:

Not only does the Board appoint the Treasurer, it also appoints the following:

Sec. 3-26. (a) To make appointments and fix the salaries of a chief administrative officer, who shall be the executive officer of the board, other administrative personnel and all teachers. . .

Is Collins trying to take power away from the elected Board of Trustees?

5 replies »

  1. The “collateral damage” term was used by attorneys for the Illinois Attorney General’s staff, speaking about the actions of Birt, Wozniak and McGuire to ensure a lack of quorum. Just so we’re clear, the attorneys were talking about students, employees and vendors who have been/will be impacted by these actions.

    I understand Collins was quite upset at a constituency meeting prior to the board meeting this past Thursday, going so far as to pound on the table a few times. I think he said something along the lines of, “”I have had to put up with Kathy Hamilton and her crap for seven months.”

    Some of his other quotes from this meeting are real gems.

  2. Collins has made it crystal clear that he is not president of COD, he is president of the SMT. Until the new BoT member has been chosen we are stuck with him until the seventh board member is selected. I hope, for the good of the college, that their first order of business is to fire Collins, followed by the firing of Kartje.

  3. Joseph Collins was on tenterhooks before breeder was fired. His, Collins complicity was apparent to me and now apparent to the at large public. He, too, needs to be removed-it is incredible how ignorant people can reach levels so high and powerful, with enormous taxpayer salary, and be so incompetent.

  4. GB puts forth a very likely explanation for Collins’ letter. Collins has shown everyone far and wide the depths of wrong doing that he can overlook and even defend. That letter substitutes for his resume. Definite “team player.” I would add that the Breuder Bunch at COD were not “liberal” or “progressive” in any true sense of those words. Actions speak louder than words. That carefully selected crowd stole from and defrauded taxpayers, faculty,honest employees, and most egregiously, from the STUDENTS. I heard the phrase “collateral damage” used in reference to students and it makes me sick. The depths of the betrayal are staggering at this moment and the bottom hasn’t been reached. Collins should go now and take the “senior management team” that put COD on probation with him.

  5. Kirk has made a very workmanlike, logical and pursuasive case for the premise. Factually. Legally. Based on common sense. It will be interesting to see Collins’ rebuttal and response, if any.

    Another possibility is that Collins sees that his days at COD are numbered. Accordingly, he is creating his own revisionist history, documents and writings to authenticate his credentials as a loyal team player and leader.

    Some of Collins’ pap and nonsense detailed in this article and others will play very well to some liberal, progressive college trustees elsewhere in America when Collins goes begging for another college presidency.

    You do not have to look very far to see where. Just read the news.

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