“You don’t know how hard my job is, I didn’t ask for this job!” said Interum President Joe Collins........as he happily banked an extra $6,000.00 a month into his pocket. (start at the 0:44:11 mark in the video below)
As recently reported, College of DuPage Board of Trustees approved an employment agreement between the College and Dr. Ann E. Rondeau who will serve as COD’s next President. It turns out that the appointment could not have come soon enough as the leadership crisis was much worse than anyone could have imagined.
Throughout the past few months, we have documented instances where Dr. Joseph Collins demonstrated disdain and disrespect towards Board of Trustee members who were working to fulfill their fiduciary duties, despite the inability to establish a quorum due to Trustees Birt, McGuire, and Wozniak violating their oath of office and boycotting meetings. During the January 21st, 2016, meeting, Collins was confrontational and condescending towards now-Board Chairman Deanne Mazzochi who wanted to conduct College business despite the unwillingness of Birt, McGuire, and Wozniak to attend meetings (See 48:39 mark of the video for the Collins breakdown). During that same meeting, he was inexplicably discourteous towards Trustee Bernstein who was making the case for Collins’ cooperation (See short video in this article). Incredibly, Collins stared off into the distance like a petulant teenager rather than acknowledge Trustee Bernstein’s plea for collaboration. To be fair, that period was difficult for the Board and the institution as a whole. However, there is now further evidence that Collins’ character and leadership failures were on display, as if these articles here, here, here, here, and here, were not convincing enough.
During the fall 2016 convocation for COD faculty, Joe Collins provided remarks that did less than inspire and instill confidence in his professional acumen. Rather than focusing on what was possible, Collins complained to the faculty about the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the Board of Trustees, former Chairman Kathy Hamilton, the Chicago Tribune, faculty, and the unfair expectation of leadership. Collins explained that Trustee Mazzochi is “. . . .an individual who has absolutely no authority to direct [him] to do anything” (start at the 0:37:17 mark in video below). His composure and comments deteriorated further when he stated, as previously pointed out, “You don’t know how hard my job is, I didn’t ask for this job! I am going crazy trying to hold this position together. . .” (start at the 41:17 mark of the video below).
The lack of judgment and professionalism continued as he whined publicly about working conditions during the tenure of former Trustee and Chairman Kathy Hamilton. He stated, “. . . you would not understand what I put up with for seven months working for Kathy Hamilton. If you knew what I had to put up with, you wouldn’t be up here going, Joe, you ought to give us some good theories about how we should work better internally. I am telling you, I am just holding this job, you want to find another Acting Interim President tell the Board that. . . .” (start at 0:44:11 mark of the video below). For Collins, that difficult nature of the position is a consequence of external forces and nothing that happened throughout the past six years while he was the second in command.
It appears that $244,762.00 per year does not buy what it used to. Even the most inexperienced employee understands that complaining publicly about colleagues is destructive and irresponsible. Regrettably, in the case of Dr. Joseph Collins, pay that is five times the United States median household income, does not afford professionalism, respect, humility, cooperation, nor accountability. Moreover, Collins has willingly accepted remuneration for an at-will position, he was not forced or coerced by the College to remain employed and has always been free to seek employment at any one of the more than a hundred institutions of higher learning throughout Illinois.
With the recent employ of Dr. Rondeau, Collins is now free to go back to knowing nothing about what happens internally at COD and can remain in a perpetual state of amnesia. Fortunately for him and tax payers, Dr. Rondeau will require no lessons in leadership, and has asked for the responsibility associated with the prestigious position of COD President. Collins’ comments were clearly a genuine reflection of his feelings toward the Board of Trustees, not to mention his qualification and suitability for a position of public trust and leadership. We expect that Dr. Rondeau will take note of Dr. Collins’ statements, behavior, and culpability in producing circumstances that contributed to the unprecedented sanction of probation. Is it possible, that accountability and consequences will finally become part of the problem-solving equation for College of DuPage? But of course, only time will tell.
We understand it takes time to turn a ship (Collins), however, we also are confident that a Navy Vice Admiral understands when to strategically sink one to save the fleet (COD).
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