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May 28, 2022

COD- Higher Learning Commission points to failures

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On April 27, 2015

DuPage Co. (ECWd)

The Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) feedback report to the College of DuPage contains some very disturbing information.  Disturbing because of its findings, as well as its failings in findings.

The COD mission is to be a center of excellence in teaching, learning, and cultural experiences by providing accessible, affordable, and comprehensive education.

Findings: 

  • there is limited information about how the College proactively communicates their mission to key stakeholders, including faculty, staff, and the community.”
  • “there is no evidence that the College proactively communicates its mission to non-employee stakeholders such as employers and suppliers.”

Criteria Two: Integrity, Ethical and Responsible Conduct

Findings:

  • “It is clear that College of DuPage is policy driven, but beyond the competitive bid policy for construction-related contracts, there is no indication here of how the College actually operates according to those policies.”
  • “There is strong evidence that COD has policies in place to guide personnel in acting with integrity.”

So on one hand the Commission points to no indication of how COD operates according to policies and then claim there is strong evidence that COD has policies in place to guide personnel in acting with integrity.   Sounds like a lot of double speak to me.

I have always said, you can not legislate behavior. Policies do little more than keep the honest people honest.  The fact of the matter is, the Commission failed on this one because there is substantial evidence that the President and the Administration have not acted with integrity, in spite of the policies that are in place!

The institution presents itself clearly and completely to its students and to the public with regard to its programs, requirements, faculty and staff, costs to students, control, and accreditation relationships.

Findings:

  • even knowledgeable constituents would have some difficulty determining where actual control of the institution rests

The past 14 months of investigations and reporting has proven who is in control of the institution and it is not the Board.   As far as the commission’s position that knowledgeable constitutes would have some difficulty in determining where actual control rests is disturbing.  Any knowledgeable person knows the control of any public body lies with the elected officials!

Overall comments on Criterion Two

  • “From the materials provided, there is no question that College of DuPage is an institution that acts with integrity; its conduct is ethical and responsible.”

One can safely assume that COD used their Freedom of Information policy in order to ensure such a statement from the Commission.  The key response, “from the materials provided”, is all the further you have to look to understand. COD clearly did not provide all the actions by its Board, President, and Administration that directly refute the commissions claim.  Maybe a subscription to the Chicago Tribune might give them more information than they got from COD.

We all know, the conduct of the Board, President, and Administration is hardly ethical and responsible!

The institution’s governance and administrative structures
promote effective leadership and support collaborative processes that enable the institution to fulfill its mission.

Findings:

  • “little information is provided to address administrative leadership and day to day management of the institution. Other than policies it is not clear how the leadership system is designed or how effective it is.”

I think the general consensus is the leadership system at COD is not effective.  As far as it’s design, it is one of dictatorial command.  If the commission could not identify that then maybe they are in the wrong business.

The above information represents a snap shot of the findings from the report.  Although there some good points identified, anyone that has been following the failings of the COD President and his team will find grave concern with the report.

At what point is the Higher Learning Commission complicit in this corruption? It has been reported to us that during the commissions interim visits when Sunil Chand was president, a student presented reviewers with envelopes of documentation relating to the corruption at COD.  We have been told this was mentioned in one of their reports and are working on obtaining that report.  According to a COD employee, a call to their office inquiring about the status of the above mentioned envelopes was told it had been “misplaced”.

You can review the entire report below or download at the provided link.

[gview file=”https://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/assurance_narrative_feedback_report.pdf” save=”1″]
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