College of DuPage

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Coordinates: 41°50′30″N 88°4′18″W / 41.84167°N 88.07167°W / 41.84167; -88.07167

College of DuPage
Established 1967
Type Community College
Endowment $5.5 million[1]
President Dr. Robert L. Breuder
Academic staff 296 full-time, 1130 part-time [2]
Students 29,000 (approx.)
Location Glen Ellyn, Illinois, USA
Campus Suburban, 273 acres (110.5 ha)

College of DuPage, or COD, is a two-year community college[3] in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. The college also owns and operates facilities in the Illinois communities of Addison, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Naperville, West Chicago, and Westmont. The college serves students residing in Illinois' Community College District 502, which is most of DuPage County and parts of Cook County and Will County. A small section of DuPage county, specifically the part that falls in Aurora, Illinois, is part of the neighboring Waubonsee Community College district.

The college was established in 1967 in Glen Ellyn, with temporary facilities at 22nd Street (now Fawell Boulevard) and Lambert Road. That very same year the student newspaper, The Courier published its first issue and has been printing ever since. Due to the college's early students having to run from building to building for classes, the Chaparral was adopted as the college's mascot. The main campus is also home to WDCB 90.9 FM, a public radio station founded in 1977, as well as the literary magazine Prairie Light Review, founded in 1982.


COD has expanded much over the years. Initially there were temporary buildings on the West side of the campus, and they are still up today. The first permanent buildings were constructed on this site in the 1970s. The first such building was A-building with the first two of its three floors opened for use in the fall of 1973. The A-Building was later named the Instructional Center, or IC building, and is now named the Rodney Berg Instructional Center, or BIC, after the College's first President. Others to follow were the Seaton Computer Center (named for a prominent COD Board trustee) or SCC, the Art Center (now the McAninch Arts Center, named for the College's second President) also called The MAC, the Student Resource Center, or SRC, and the Physical Education Building.

Currently the facility master plan calls for expanding the campus. Under it the Early Childhood Education Center, or ECEC building, was built, and the Health & Science (HSC) and Technology Education Centers (TEC) buildings opened during the summer of 2009. The college library is located in the SRC building.

The College campus has undergone an Architectural and Landscape renaissance over the last five years. Facilities have been renovated and new buildings built to provide state-of-the art facilities for virtually all academic and administrative departments. The projects are briefly described below: Technology Education Center (TEC). This new 178,000 square feet (16,500 m2) building, completed in 2009, houses the Automotive Technology, HVAC/ELMEC, Architecture, Horticulture, Interior Design, and Computer Information Systems in a new steel, glass and precast concrete panel building on the West side of campus. The building was awarded LEED Silver.

The 475,000 square feet (44,100 m2) BIC Renovation (Phase one completed 2011), and (phase two completed 2012) and new 65,000 square feet (6,000 m2) Student Services Center (SSC) (completed 2011) received a complete makeover, including a reorganization of faculty and administrative departments, expanded student commons, updated classrooms and labs, and the addition of the new Student Services Center which now connects the SRC and BIC with a large naturally lit commons, a new coffee shop (Starbucks) and easily accessible ‘one-stop-shop’ student services offices and operations. The renovation and Student Services Center replaced the deteriorating BIC exterior with a new, modern panel and glass exterior and bright interior spaces. The renovated BIC pulled the "gen-ed" classes out of the West Campus temporary buildings, and the classes all have a permanent home in the BIC due to the departure of the larger programs (Meteorology, Architecture, Automotive, Fire Science/EMS, Criminal Justice, Hospitality, Horticulture, CIS, Interior Design, HVAC/ELMEC, etc.) to their respective buildings elsewhere on campus. The transfer of the classes to the BIC empties the temporary buildings, thus enabling them to be disassembled and the land made clear for the next phases of the Homeland Security Building expansion on the West Campus.

On the East side of campus, the new 60,000 square feet (5,600 m2) Culinary and Hospitality Center (CHC) (completed 2011) houses culinary kitchens and bakeries, a six room boutique Hotel run by students of the Hospitality program, two gourmet restaurants open to the Public, a culinary amphitheater and the colleges TV station and video production departments.

The 66,000 square feet (6,100 m2) Homeland Security Education Center (Phase one completed 2011) is the first facility of its kind in the midwest. It houses the Criminal Justice program, the Fire Science/EMS program, the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy, and the COD police department. The facility features an Immersive Interior Training Lab, forensics and cybercrimes labs, an auditorium that doubles as a mock courtroom, a self-contained breathing apparatus lab, and a debriefing room.[4]

Landscape projects on campus have also been performed to introduce new gardens, decorative plantings and exterior student environments.

Future Expansion[edit]

Pending a referendum on the November 2010 Ballot, the college plans on keeping the current tax rate where it is, where in turn, the college plans on finishing the three-phase project for the Homeland Security Education Center. The planned expansion includes a parking structure as well as a fully modeled streetscape for Police-Fire-EMS-SWAT training. A parking structure on the eastern side of campus is also planned, as the campus is currently over-capacity with its parking spaces, and the campus will be brought to current with its level of support for the students. There are also plans to demolish the older structures, including the K, L, and M buildings on the campus' west side.

Semester conversion[edit]

For most of its history, the College of DuPage offered classes in an 11-week-long quarter format, with four quarters (Winter (January–March), Spring (April–June), Summer (June–August) and Fall (September–December)) in a single calendar year. In May 2002, the Board of Trustees voted to convert to semesters. The conversion was effective August 2005 and caused some students to lose class credit if they had not attended classes for a few years. For example, Chemistry 100, originally a 5 credit class, was reduced to 3.33 credits and while the credits did still count towards an elective, it no longer fulfilled the requirement for science, requiring the student to re-take the class (Chemistry 1110 or 1105) to satisfy the Associates of Arts degree audit.

Philanthropy and community service[edit]

From 2005 to 2014, art students at the college have created and sold paintings to raise money for rebuilding the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. The students worked with a non-profit group called IArtists. IArtists contributes art to rebuilt homes that were damaged in Hurricane Katrina.[5]

Meteorology and storm chasing[edit]

The COD Meteorology Department is one of the more unique programs in the country. It was the first college to offer storm chasing for college credit. It began in 1989 as a weekend adventure before eventually becoming a 50-day-a-year (five separate trips of ten days each) full-scale college course today. The meteorology department offers classes such as Severe Weather Lab, Mesoscale Meteorology, and Severe and Unusual Weather to help train students to both chase and forecast severe weather events. Meteorology majors from COD have moved on to many universities and beyond to staff such places as the National Weather Service, TV stations, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the National Severe Storms Laboratory, to name a few.

It is also well known for a very comprehensive weather data website used by many in the severe storms fields and other disciplines of meteorology as well as by weather enthusiasts, storm spotters, and chasers. The website was often seen being used by those on the Discovery Channel's Storm Chasers reality show. NEXLAB is short for "Next Generation Weather Lab", a take off on the Next Generation Weather Radar, or NEXRAD, a name used by the National Weather Service for its Doppler weather radar system that was implemented in the 1990s.

The COD Meteorology Department is also heavily involved in the community. Skywarn programs helping to host one of the larger spotter training seminars each March in DuPage County.[6] The training is known as the Advanced Spotter Training for the Multi-County Skywarn of the Chicago Metro area. 12 counties participate through the DuPage Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the Chicago National Weather Service, and the College of DuPage Meteorology Dept (NEXLAB). The department also irregularly hosts advanced symposiums on severe thunderstorm and tornado forecasting.

COD president salary and benefits[edit]

President Breuder's total compensation package comes to, according to FOIA disclosures, $469,365.54.[7] Breuder’s annual salary, at $292,739 is the highest of any president in the Illinois Public Community College System.[8]

COD President Breuder's Monthly Compensation [7][9]
Compensation Amount (per month)
Salary $24,394
Auto allowance $700
Deferred compensation $6,000
Housing allowance $1,500
Life insurance or annuity $2,075
Professional development stipend $700
House account at Waterleaf restaurant Varies

Contributions to Breuder's retirement account, run through the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) contributions, are approximately $34,000 and are paid for by the college. Breuder's contributions are paid for by the college. Breuder shares expenses for health, medical, dental, vision, long term disability and life insurance.[7]

Breuder also has his own private account at the college's Waterleaf Gourmet Restaurant. Among his expenses are more than $10,000 in charges for dinners for the Board of Trustees.[9]


Waterleaf Gourmet Restaurant[edit]

The College of DuPage has its own gourmet restaurant called Waterleaf. One example of a gourmet meal that a patron can purchase at the restaurant: filet with potato croquettes, pea puree, au poivre sauce ($38); a bottle of 2009 Lewis Cellars Cabernet Savignon, Reserve, Napa Valley, California ($230).[10]

Intended purpose vs. actual use
The restaurant’s stated purpose is to train aspiring chefs and restaurant managers enrolled COD’s Culinary and Hospitality Management program. However, few students work in the restaurant; it has its own professional chefs, sous chefs, servers and managers.
Students enrolled in the program typically work and learn in another restaurant owned by COD called the Wheat Café.
Breuder's house account
As part of his compensation package, President Breuder enjoys a house account (#10) at Waterleaf. From October 2, 2013 through September 25, 2014, Breuder charged over $23,000 at 59 lunches and dinners (including $5,488 in wine and liquor) to account #10.[11]
Half million in losses
The college last reported on Waterleaf’s financial status in 2012. In 2012, the restaurant lost $500,000. The president of COD’s faculty union said the restaurant has been a “…bone of contention….” between the faculty and COD president Breuder since its opening. The college pays to cover the restaurant's losses.[12]
In December 2013, checks totaling over $2,300 were signed for steaks for the senior management team, whose Christmas party cost an additional $3,500. The Board of Trustees Christmas dinner was $2,300 and another board retreat came in at over $1,000.00.[11]
Defense of the restaurant
Trustee Dianne McGuire defended the spending practices at Waterleaf against critics whom she described as “extremist, right-wing ideologues….” "The various events for trustees and administrators have a purpose," she said. "They're there to create a cohesive team.” She pointed out that trustees only get together one a month and that the “…short period of time spent over a meal is helpful to us.”[13]
McGuire also dismissed the amounts spent on food and liquor saying they were only a small percentage of the COD’s $187 million budget. President Breuder agreed with McGuire’s comments and referred to the charges of corruption as “…a plethora of rhetoric….”[13]

Imprest fund[edit]

The College of DuPage runs a special fund for administrators called an "imprest fund." The fund is an accounting maneuver that allows people to lump thousands of purchase together into one line item, instead of explaining each purchase.[14]

In October 2014, The Washington Times awarded its weekly “Golden Hammer Award,” given for waste, fraud and abuse in government, to the College of DuPage.[14]

How it works
At COD, any purchase made from the fund that is under $15,000 is not subject to disclosure to the public or review by the Board of Trustees.[15] The Daily Herald, the local newspaper, wrote that at one point, the Board of Trustees had not seen a single itemized receipt for $26 million that college administrators spent over 16 months.[16]
Journalist investigation
A reporter named Andrew Andrzejewski helped make public information about COD's imprest fund. Andrzejewski filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in order to obtain details about the $95 million in unexplained spending. In an article about COD's spending practices in Forbes magazine, Andrzejewski wrote, "At COD, imprest payments aren’t individually disclosed, but instead aggregated and summarized as a line item."[17]
Questionable spending items
Since 2009, COD administrators made 85,000 individual purchases (that were under $15,000 each) from the imprest fund, totaling $95 million. The spending included:[14]
  • $243,305 for alcohol (the fund's account ledger described the spending only as "instructional supplies").
  • $23,686 to Breuder's private shooting club, plus supplies for an elephant-hunting trip Breuder took to Africa
  • $4,809 in mileage reimbursement for local travel (Breuder receives a monthly car allowance)
Conflict of interest payments

Administrators made payments from the imprest fund to a number of businesses owned or connected to people who sat on various college boards:

Conflict of Interest Payments from Imprest Fund [16]
Payment Recipient Connection to COD
$435,365 Herricane Graphics Owner Carla Burkhart sits on the College of DuPage Foundation board of directors
$328,020 Wight & Company (construction company) Owner Mark Wight is a vice president of the COD Foundation.
$464,873 Robbins Schwartz Nicholas Lifton & Taylor (law firm) An attorney at the firm, Kenneth Florey, sits on COD Foundation board.
$229,500 Roger Marquardt & Co. (lobbyists) Company president Scott Marquardt sits on COD Foundation board.
Reaction by Board of Trustees
Although concerns about the fund and its accounting irregularities have been voiced by citizens attending recent board meetings, in November, 2104, the COD Board of Trustees voted "no" against auditing the imprest funds.[15]
The vice chair of the board, Kathy Hamilton, proposed that all payments made from the imprest fund be submitted to the board each month. Trustee Diane McGuire criticized the FOIA requests from watchdog groups, calling them "counterproductive", and characterizing the effort the school has to make in order to respond to the requests as, "These are dollars that are actually wasted."[15]

State grant controversy[edit]

Frustrated by the State of Illinois’ failure to disburse a $20 million grant that the legislature previously had approved, COD President Robert Breuder sent an email to the college’s trustees, asking them to come up with a justification for the state’s release of the money. Breuder’s idea was a $50 million teaching and learning center. Breuder intended to pressure former governor Pat Quinn by thanking Quinn before an audience of 3,500 at COD’s 2014 commencement ceremony. Unfortunately for Breuder, Quinn left the campus before Breuder spoke.[18]

Dissent and censure
Breuder was able to persuade seven of the eight COD Trustees to approve the $50 million project. The only dissenter, Kathy Hamilton, Vice Chairman, was subsequently censured by the board in August, 2014, for “…erroneous statements.”[19]
Public backlash against censure
Many angry audience members voiced their disapproval by shouting “Shame!” and “Shame on you.” Illinois State Representative Jeanne Ives spoke out against the censure vote, calling it “…completely inappropriate….”[20]
Richard Skoda, a high school history teacher, said he was "very saddened" by the censure.[21]
The entire appropriation incident, and Breuder’s email, led to an editorial in the Chicago Tribune, that called the episode, “…a seedy little money grab by officials at the College of DuPage.”[22]
Backfire and cancellation
Governor Quinn’s Press Secretary, Dave Blanchette, issued a statement cancelling the grant that said: "Recent news regarding appropriations for the College of DuPage is extremely alarming. We have no tolerance for any misrepresentation of how funds will be used. No additional funding has been committed or approved by the state, and all future capital dollars have been suspended.”[23]


In May 2008, the school board abruptly removed the college president, Sunil Chand.[24][25]

In October 2008, COD board chairman Michael McKinnon sued three former college trustees for defamation. The defamation suit was dismissed in mid-February, 2009. The three trustees had alleged that he had sexually harassed them.[26][27][28] Mary Mack, one of the trustees, then counter-sued McKinnon for defamation.[29]

In November 2008, according to, faculty members and students protested a board meeting by attending the meeting with tape over their mouths. This was to protest changes to the college rules modeled on conservative activist David Horowitz's controversial "Academic Bill of Rights", which takes control over the curriculum away from teachers and gives it to the school board.[30][31] If adopted, as the Board of Trustees has proposed, this reform would make College of DuPage the first institution of higher learning in the nation to adopt Horowitz's "Academic Bill of Rights"[32] The faculty association sent a letter to the board noting that the changes were never discussed and no complaints over curriculum have been filed by students.[30] Another controversial change to the college rules was that control over the student newspaper will be given to the College president. This comes after the newspaper criticized the school board. The Student Press Law Center advised the newspaper that the changes may violate Illinois state law.[30]

In February 2009, a board meeting in which trustee candidates contested objections to their candidacy drew over 100 people. The objections to the candidacies had been filed by Kory Atkinson, an outgoing trustee. The board barred audience members from commenting on the procedures. Candidates charged that the process was flawed and undemocratic.[33] [34]


The College of DuPage Library serves the college's 29,000 students and 1,400 faculty and staff. The library is based on the second and third floors of COD's Student Resource Center (SRC), located at the College's main campus in Glen Ellyn. The Library also provides services to the College's off-campus Regional Centers and Centers for Independent Learning. The library's collection includes over 200,000 individual titles, 900 periodical titles, over 100 databases, 14,500 musical recordings, 690 audiobooks, 13,000 instructional videos, and an extensive rental video collection.

The Library has partnerships with various community-based and state and national library organizations. The Library's Philanthropy Center is a partnership with the Donors Forum of Chicago. The Library also has a residency in community college librarianship program, designed to offer a two-year intensive, mentored experience in community college librarianship to a recent library school graduate. The Library also provides resources and facilities for the College’s Library Technical Assistance (LTA) certificate program.

In January 2000 the Library received the Excellence in Academic Libraries Award, sponsored by the Association of College and Research Libraries and Blackwells’ Book Services.


In sports, the College of DuPage Chaparrals are a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

The first NJCAA Championship in any sport at College of DuPage was the 1980 NJCAA Men's National Ice Hockey Champions.[35]

National championships[edit]

Notable faculty and alumni[edit]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 2, 2010. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Marcy Marro, "A Sense of Security: First-of-its-kind education center trains first responders" Metal Architecture magazine Tues May 1, 2012
  5. ^ "COD art students donate work to help rebuild New Orleans". The Doings Hinsdale (Chicago Sun-Times). 22 October 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  6. ^ DuPage Severe Weather Conference Website
  7. ^ a b c Breuder, Robert; McKinnon, Michael. "Employment Agreements and subsequent addenda". College of Dupage. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  8. ^ Wilson, Nathan. "Fiscal 2014 Salary Report". Illinois Community College Board. Springfield, Illinois. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Andrzejewski, Adam (17 November 2014). "The Fat Cats at College of DuPage". Huffington Post. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Menu". Waterleaf Restaurant. College of DuPage. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "FOIA College of Dupage WaterLeaf Restaurant receipts". Edgar County Watchdogs. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "rom the community: Throw Us a Bone, Waterleaf". Chicago Tribune. 21 November 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Merchant, Safiya (21 November 2014). "COD trustee bites back at criticism over thousands spent on meals". The Daily Herald. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c Johnson, Drew (2 October 2014). "How a college hid $95 million in expense like booze, shooting clubs". The Washington Times. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c Shields, Evan (21 November 2014). "College of DuPage trustees vote 'no' to imprest audit, despite public outcry over spending". My Suburban Life (Downer's Grove, Illinois: Shaw Media). Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  16. ^ a b "$95 Million in Hidden Spending Revealed at College of DuPage". Illinois Policy. 7 October 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  17. ^ Andrzejewski, Adam (10 September 2014). "$26 Million Selfie at Illinois Jr. College". Forbes. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  18. ^ Tyson, Charles (25 July 2014). "$20 million question". Inside Higher Education. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  19. ^ Merchant, Safirya (22 August 2014). "College of DuPage board: trustee embarrassed members". The Daily Herald. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  20. ^ Beckman, Hank (25 August 2014). "Hinsdale representative censured by College of DuPage Board". The Doings Western Springs. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  21. ^ Shields, Evan (22 August 2014). "College of DuPage board votes to censure trustee". My Suburban Life (Downers Grove, Illinois: Shaw Media). Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  22. ^ Editorial Board (7 July 2014). "Use it or lose it". Editorial. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  23. ^ Truong, Quan (8 July 2014). "College of DuPage plans for new center despite state funding loss". TribLocal - Glen Ellyn. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  24. ^ Fain, Paul (28 May 2008). "Board Abruptly Ousts President of College of DuPage". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  25. ^ Edman, Catherine (27 May 2008). "College of DuPage President Chand ousted". The Daily Herald. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  26. ^ Gregory, Ted (24 October 2008). "Defamation suit rocks college calm". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  27. ^ Edman, Catherine (23 October 2008). "COD board chair files defamation suit against ex-colleagues". The Daily Herald. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  28. ^ Wiedeman, Reeves (24 October 2008). "Governing Board's Chairman Sues 3 Former Trustees of Community College". The Chronicle of Higher Education. 
  29. ^ Petrella, Dan (23 December 2008). "Ex-COD trustee fires back at board chairman". (Downers Grove, Illinois: Shaw Media). Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  30. ^ a b c "Power Grab at DuPage"
  31. ^ Fain, Paul (24 November 2008). "More Board Turmoil at College of DuPage, as Faculty Bridles Over Proposals". The Chronicle of Higher Education. ISSN 0009-5982. OCLC 1554535. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  32. ^ "College of DuPage Trustees Move to Adopt Academic Bill of Rights"
  33. ^ Christy Gutowski, "Crowd watches College of DuPage candidates fight objections" 2/10/2009 Daily Herald
  34. ^ Brian Hudson, "UPDATED: Election committee considers objections" Glen Ellyn News Tue Feb 10, 2009
  35. ^ a b

External links[edit]