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College of DuPage Faculty Negotiations

At the College of DuPage, we are currently negotiating a new contract with our full-time faculty, CODFA, and had hoped to reach an agreement by now, but we are continuing to work through some of our differences and will hopefully reach a fair agreement for all stakeholders. We have a first-rate faculty and staff here and we fully recognize the need to be competitive with our salaries, benefits, facilities and every other factor in making COD a good destination college for students in DuPage County. We also must balance the finances with the burden we place on our taxpayers in the district who have always demonstrated generosity in supporting the college. Our board firmly believes we can do both those things with a spirit of cooperation and appreciation on both sides. Now, we all just need to get together, work to understand good outcomes and get it done for the faculty, staff, students, and taxpayers.

We're in a good situation here at COD. After some tough times, we all worked cooperatively to "right the ship" and become the amazing institution we are. Contract negotiations by nature carry the risk of being adversarial. The structure of community colleges provides that the faculty and staff are accountable to the administration, the administration is accountable to the Board, and the Board are accountable to the taxpayers of the district. We're fully aware of the responsibilities the representatives of each side of these negotiations have to their respective constituencies. As a board we take our responsibility to the people with the utmost seriousness.

A big part of our competitiveness in higher education is our excellent faculty. As we face an enrollment challenge, we are counting on that level of excellence to continue. As our economy has improved, which everyone appreciates, our competition has grown. We believe that the education you receive at COD is as golden an opportunity in undergrad studies as any other college, in-state, out of state, public or private. Our competitive edge, and frankly our responsibility as a publicly funded community college, is to ensure that there is "value" to go along with that excellence. We have been doing that and we want to continue doing it. There's no denying we've got a challenge, and we need to all partner to meet that challenge.

We are committed to a fair outcome in this negotiation process because every stakeholder deserves a fair outcome. That goes for faculty and staff, students and the taxpayers who endow this school with their hard-earned money. We all have a vision, mission and goals for where we want to institution to go, and even more importantly, "what this college is to be" for the students who come here. Spiraling tax rates from property, to sales to every other imaginable area are contributing to Illinois becoming an Out-Migration state. College of DuPage is and must continue to be a great reason to "stay" in Illinois.

Frank Napolitano
Chairman of the Board
College of DuPage

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