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April 18, 2024

College of DuPage – Trustee McGuire accreditation scuttling efforts with HLC – Part I

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On June 7, 2016

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

Grab a chair, a drink of your desire, and prepare to be amazed by the actions of a lone “rogue” trustee who appears to be on a mission to scuttle accreditation at COD.  Due to the volume of information, we will break it up into three parts, as in Part I, Part II and Part III.

In what we suppose is yet another attempt to portray herself as an aggrieved victim, rather than a lousy trustee whose bad judgment has led her to engage in ever more despicable behavior, we once again must shine a light on the actions of College of DuPage Board Trustee Diane McGuire, and the lengths to which she will go to harm the very College she is supposed to be protecting.

I suppose we should be grateful that this time the drama queen didn’t liken questioning of her expenses as the moral equivalent to the suffering of the victims at Dachau. (McGuire 2014 speech)

But, nevertheless, her loopy logic (or lack thereof) was in full force again in a May 5, 2016 letter she sent to the Higher Learning Commission, the newspapers, and her political supporters – but NOT to all of her fellow Trustees, despite their requests.

Let’s set the stage here.

The Board of Trustees is understandably concerned about ensuring that they are going to come into compliance with the Higher Learning Commission.  They thus held a special closed session to meet with their HLC liason on May 5, 2016, and presumably hear feedback, good or bad.

As we know, Trustee McGuire simply hates to be criticized.  Recall that one of her complaints about Tim Elliott is that he wouldn’t shut down public criticism of her at Board meetings—rightly so, since that would violate the public’s first amendment rights to be heard.

So McGuire wasn’t about to be held accountable in any meeting attended by an actual representative of the HLC.

Instead, she fired off a May 5th, 2016 letter to the HLC, and once again provides a side of things that fits her emotional agenda, which at this point appears to be a continued effort to scuttle the COD accreditation.  We say “emotional” because we simply can’t come up with any logical reason why she would deliberately misrepresent so many issues to the HLC.

Her letter is below but we wanted to make some points on key statements she made.

  • “leaving the Board without leadership and no clear majority’

Wrong Ms. McGuire.  The absence of the Chair left the Vice-Chair to take over the duties of the Chair, thus no loss in leadership.  I think we covered that quite well in this article.   The reference to no clear majority points to the mindset of McGuire.  It’s all about control.  The fact of the matter is “she” is not in the position of leadership and she can’t deal with it.

  • “the “legacy” trustees, a term coined by the Chicago Tribune, proposed the addition of several items to the December 17th meeting agenda, requests which included a review of our legal expenses and the continued employment of our attorneys”

Interesting how she failed to share how she was manipulating the agenda in violation of the established policy that adopted Roberts Rules of Order.  We exposed her misguided attempts on this matter in this article.

  • “What occurred over the next eight weeks was nothing short of stunning.”

She is correct that it’s been stunning, however she failed to expose what truly made it so stunning.  Her involvement in an orchestrated boycott of any meeting that she was not in charge is what made those eight weeks stunning.  In short, she failed to acknowledge to the HLC that she refused to perform her elected duty for eight weeks.  Stunning!

  • “The three legacy trustees called four different special meetings, all of which were hijacked by the Clean Slate trustees, with competing meetings starting just before or 30 minutes after our meetings were to start.”

Utterly false.  The Breuder holdovers called their first meeting for January 7, 2016 as a Special Board Meeting.  When they were told the other 3 Trustees wanted to have additional items on the Agenda too (under the very same law that they used to justify calling a special meeting), they illegally refused to add those items to the Agenda.  That led the reform Trustees to prepare a single 6:45 p.m. agenda that included the items that every Trustee wanted.  She refused to show.

The Breuder holdovers then called another meeting for January 14, 2016, a week later.  Mazzochi reprinted their agenda verbatim for 7:00 p.m.; but created a separate agenda to approve the DuPage County State’s Attorney request for closed session meeting minutes (where the Breuder holdovers took an illegal vote, see here, and which McGuire refused to add to her January 14 Agenda).  McGuire refused to show for her own meeting.

After boycotting the regularly-scheduled Board meeting January 21 (where she had dispute with Mazzochi, whether vice-chair or acting chair, had the right to set the Agenda—notwithstanding the flawed opinions of Robbins Schwartz we discussed here and here), the Breuder holdovers didn’t even bother to propose an Agenda for the January 28, 2016 meeting they said they would attend—and Mazzochi included all their prior items on it.  They all still refused to show.

This is where it gets interesting.  After getting pilloried in the press, the Breuder holdovers noticed up an Agenda—finally voluntarily removing among other things their demand to fire their attorneys and bring the Board under ICCTA supervision, and instead limiting it to just College business.  BUT, they noticed the meeting up for 5:30 p.m.  They were asked to hold the meeting at the regularly-scheduled Board meeting time, because some Board members had work commitments.  (We learned later that Mazzochi was traveling from Boston for work, and Napolitano and Bernstein had already-scheduled work and service commitments).  They were asked to voluntarily set it for 7 pm.  They refused.  So Mazzochi noticed up their identical agenda for 7 pm so all 6 Trustees could attend.

A short while after 5:30 pm, the Breuder holdovers (after their Democrat political operatives were making snide remarks to the press present against Chuck Bernstein not being willing to meet with them anywhere, anytime), started the meeting.  But because Erin Birt decided to linger behind to make her press points, she was still in the room when Dr. Collins notified everyone close to 6 pm that the other Board members were in transit to the Board meeting.  The public heckled them to stay and do their jobs.

Mazzochi, Napolitano and Bernstein were in the room by around 6:30 pm.  The 7 pm agenda was started, all 6 Trustees stayed to vote favorably on most items 6-0.

Make no mistake about it—those Breuder holdovers were looking for a date and time when one of the Reform trustees couldn’t make a meeting.  Since in Illinois all you need is a majority of a quorum (i.e., a 3-2 or 3-1 vote) to pass an item, the Breuder board was making a play for control over the Board—as Frank Napolitano recounted at one of the boycotted meetings, McGuire had tried to entice him into making her chair after Hamilton resigned.

Anyway, it’s interesting to see her acknowledgment there were other meetings.  Why did she call those meetings “competing”?  Because she did not call them, to get an outcome that placed her in control.

Click here for Part II

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1 Comment
  • Mike
    Posted at 15:22h, 09 June

    Accusing the Board of micromanaging the Administration is often code for the Board actually analyzing and questioning Administration recommendations.

    As opposed to the Board passing Administration recommendations with little or no scrutiny.