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Quinn withholds College of DuPage building cash

Thursday, Jul 3, 2014

* Daily Herald

The College of DuPage won’t receive a $20 million state construction grant now that Gov. Pat Quinn has seen an email detailing President Robert Breuder’s strategy to secure the long-promised funding for the Glen Ellyn school.

“The tactics used by the president in his email” convinced the governor not to release the $20 million the school hoped to use for a Teaching and Learning Center, a Quinn spokesman said Wednesday.

“We are suspending the possibility that they can submit a project for that funding,” David Blanchette said.

COD spokesman Joseph Moore said the school did not have a comment Wednesday evening but may have one Thursday.

In case you missed it the other day, the background on that notorious e-mail is here.

* Breuder told the Daily Herald his side of the story earlier this week

Breuder said his May 9 email was part of an effort to get board members on the same page for the project.

Breuder said COD has known for at least a year it needs more classroom space. He said the school is operating at nearly 90 percent capacity during peak hours and needs to expand its facilities if enrollment continues to grow as projected.

“It’s an internal memorandum trying to work the politics inside my own board,” Breuder said of the email, which For the Good of Illinois obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Breuder said the original pledge for the grant dates to 2002, when then-Gov. George Ryan announced community colleges would get money to replace temporary buildings with permanent ones. COD never got its share, even though the state budgeted it in both 2004 and 2009, Breuder said.

The hope is Quinn will act to change that.

“All I know is he’s willing to go ahead and release money that’s been earmarked for us for a long time,” Breuder said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


19 Comments
  1. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    Which part of “don’t put it in writing if you don’t want to see it in the media” did he not understand. Moron.


  2. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    Quinn needs to make news with that. He has to SHOW us that he is fighting corruption and waste.

    Enough with the craptastic Mr. Burns embarrassments! Get out there are SHOW voters how you are governing!

    Be a governor, Governor!


  3. - Langhorne - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    Dumb dumb email. Appropriate result.


  4. - Nearly Normal - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    Glad to see the Gov is not pleased and pulled the funds. Seems COD does very well financially and so let the state use the funds where it is needed.


  5. - siriusly - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    Good move by Governor Quinn, if he was really bold he would mention it during his commencement remarks right there at COD. Talk about how as future leaders they need to be bold and strong in their convictions and sometimes you have to make tough decisions that may not be popular but they are the right things to do.

    Maybe his board will finally realize that their emperor has no clothes, only expensive taste and bad judgment. Red faced Brueder should retire after his bungle basically cost his college $20 M in state money.


  6. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    BTW, next time want to “get everyone on the same page,” have a conference call.


  7. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    That’s a $20 million email. Think before you send.


  8. - dupage dan - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    Oh, Prunella. What an ultra-maroon.


  9. - Big Muddy - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    We’re gonna need that $20 million to pay for pensions and healthcare for the teachers the building was supposed to serve.
    Irony.


  10. - Columbo - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    Just another example in a long series of blunders at both Harper CC and COD. And as of 2013, the top paid Illinois CC prez at $292K. As Dave Letterman likes to say, “Hard to believe”


  11. - Toni H. - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    I have tried to read and absorb it all posted here. Am wondering what happens to the health premiums that have been paid by retirees and the supposedly fund that will be returned? Any news or that? or…is that a Nardulli thing?


  12. - DuPage - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    Time for a new president at COD. Also, the need for any new buildings should be scrutinized before approval. The “spend it all, so then we can act like we need more” attitude should stop.
    To the COD board: Hire more carpenters, painters, plumbers, electricians, and building engineers. You could pay a lot of that off of what you overpay Breuder. Start maintaining your buildings better, make your existing buildings last! Don’t ask us for more money unless and until you have a real need for it!


  13. - Just Observing - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    === BTW, next time want to “get everyone on the same page,” have a conference call. ===

    Would be an OMA violation — then again, likely so was the email.


  14. - FYI - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    @Columbo - $274k is just Breauder’s BASE salary.

    He also has plans to build a $200k Executive Bathroom.

    And there’s the wine cellar at the Culinary Building. Rumor has it that Breauder is a wine connoisseur…


  15. - walker - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 3:03 pm:

    Sorry Breuder — the money is not “earmarked” for you.

    It is for a specific purpose deemed to be of public value. If you don’t need it for what you proposed, then you don’t get it. I wish all local entities across the state, and their elected representatives, got this simple idea.


  16. - Responsa - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 3:24 pm:

    This turned out well because somebody shined the light.


  17. - Responsa - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    I’m going to give Gov. Quinn credit here because he did the right thing–what choice did he have after the email became public. But we should also bear in mind that it was not anyone on his staff or a government audit or a newspaper investigation that caught this. It was a FOIA request from an outside organization. That fact alone should give people pause about who’s minding the store.


  18. - LincolnLounger - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 4:17 pm:

    I detest Adam A., but he really shined a light on the fiscal situation at CoD. Somebody needs to make that whole gang squirm, and the supposed “fiscal conservatives” in DuPage need to get ahold of that board.


  19. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 4:19 pm:

    Where’s Rep. Ives when we need her?


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