DuPage Co. (ECWd) -
It is no surprise to our readers that the College of DuPage (COD) is seeking a new President who will bring back the badly needed leadership and trust to one of the finest, if not the finest, Community College in the country. It was reported that COD had over 300 applicants for the position of President. That being the case we wondered who those applicants are and why they wanted such a position.
Naturally, without knowing the names of 300 applicants we stood little chance of getting to know why they wanted such a position, but our curiosity did get the best of us. Knowing information is key to making a good choice, we figured we would try to get ahead of the process and see if we could use the Internet and figure out who may be seeking the COD position. If we could figure that out, we could research more on those candidates and their history.
Google Search terms used -
- "College President Steps Down" - 6.6 million hits
- "College President Terminated" - 18.1 million hits
- "College President Fired" - 47.9 million hits
We chose to go 20 pages deep into the research to see if those departing for any reason from a College may have disclosed what their future plans were, thus revealing themselves as a possible COD candidate. Keep in mind, our primary goal was to figure out if we could possibly figure out who wanted the COD position. In that regard, we failed miserably. It was clear early on that our hope of figuring out who may be seeking a post at COD was pretty slim, if not impossible, as very few of those hits pointed to what their future plans were and none of them pointed to COD as a future post.
Updated Google Search Term -
- "College President Finalists" - 14.2 million hits
By changing the search term we again came up short on finding out who may be seeking a post at COD, but looking back on our search information we were actually closer than we thought on one candidate, out of 300, but did not know that until after COD announced the finalists.
The search for "finalists" turned up many names from around the country. Most were news reports but one, in particular, was an announcement from Butte College, which Barbara Kavalier was a finalist for that school. As I recall, she was the only one that also had popped up under the "stepping down" search criteria and we could not find out the reason for her departure. At the time, we did not make any connection to her as there was no indication she was seeking a position at COD. Now we know she is one of the three finalist at COD. Since that disclosure at COD, we have discovered she is also listed as a finalist at Santa Barbara City College.
Our research failed to point to what we had hoped we could figure out, but it was not a waste of time by any means. What we believe we did identify, or at least confirmed, the internet and social media may be playing a bigger role than we realized when it comes to public officials, accountability, and where we are as a society when it comes to doing the right thing.
Although the information highway was unable to give us insight as to who was applying at COD, it is clearer than ever imagined, the internet can be instrumental when it comes to holding our local government bodies accountable to the law, as many are learning, public exposure of wrongdoing is inevitable in today's world. People are able to access and share more information at a faster pace than ever before. The citizenry is more engaged because of this access and all indications are the sharing of key events on social media and through blogs is, in fact, bearing great weight on those public officials who are not exactly operating within the confines of the law.
A google search for fired or terminated College Presidents drives that message home, but it also points to a societal matter in my opinion. You would think by the time people rise to the level of College President that you would not have to be concerned with matters of ethics and trust. Below is just a small sample of reasons why College Presidents were terminated.
- "excessive spending, poor financial oversight and failing to respond to requests made under the state's open-records laws."
- "tampered with emails to the school's Board of Trustees and attempted to block complaints about her conduct."
- "unauthorized expenses, policy violations, and bad management behavior and comments."
- "disputed the audit, but agreed last year to repay $65,000. The college also has to repay misspent federal funds."
- "questionable conduct includes renovations to Spielvogel’s office and a planned inauguration"
- "president sent emails suggesting her husband could work for the university just weeks after she was picked for the job and before she signed her five-year contract."
Although the internet was unable to point to who was applying for the COD Presidential position, it's clear the information at our fingertips is pointing to serious matters pertaining to public trust in our government. The links above are just a small sample of the societal decay we are seeing in this country at the highest level of our education system. You know, those in charge of teaching our kids.
With the volume of information at our fingertips we can only wonder at what point will we look at the actions of people in positions of trust and take steps towards educating our youth on ethics, honesty, trustworthiness etc. It's clear the moral fiber is unraveling in this country and unless we get a grip on the cause of these systemic problems we are destined for failure as a society. If you can't trust your College President how bad is it in other areas of our local government?
Who would have figured an investigation to identify candidates would have turned into a confirmation of a societal breakdown?
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