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Education

3 College of DuPage trustees boycott meeting

Boycott leaves board without quorum

Three College of DuPage trustees – Erin Birt, Dianne McGuire and Joseph Wozniak – leave the Board of Trustees without a quorum to conduct business after boycotting a board meeting Dec. 17.
Three College of DuPage trustees – Erin Birt, Dianne McGuire and Joseph Wozniak – leave the Board of Trustees without a quorum to conduct business after boycotting a board meeting Dec. 17.

The College of DuPage Board of Trustees wasn't able to conduct business at its Dec. 17 meeting after trustees Erin Birt, Dianne McGuire and Joseph Wozniak boycotted the meeting, leaving the board without a quorum.

Prior to the meeting, the three trustees submitted a letter to COD's acting interim President Joseph Collins stating they plan to boycott any meetings until an organizational meeting is held to elect a new chairman. Chairwoman Kathy Hamilton resigned suddenly Dec. 13 for "personal reasons."

Hamilton helped usher in a trio of candidates known as the "Clean Slate" – Deanne Mazzochi, Charles Bernstein and Frank Napolitano – through her own financial and public backing in the 2015 election.

Mazzochi, Bernstein and Napolitano were at the meeting, along with student trustee Gloria Roark. In the letter, Birt, McGuire and Wozniak also asked for items to be added to the agenda, including "whether to continue to employ Tim Elliott, Dan Kinsella and Andrew Porter as the college's attorneys and whether to restart the presidential search process in light of recent events."

Bernstein criticized Birt, McGuire and Wozniak for not attending the meeting.

"I want to work with you," he said. "But I can't work with you if you're not here. Please, don't hold the college hostage."

Napolitano also made a plea to them, noting they should be part of the process to choose a new trustee.

"Put the past behind us, and let us achieve the great things that this college is all about," Napolitano said.

The board has 60 days to appoint a replacement, who would fill the open trustee position until the next election in April 2017. The person who wins the election would fill the remainder of Hamilton's term until it expires in 2019.

If the board cannot agree on an appointee within 60 days, the Illinois Community College Board will install one. COD is currently accepting applications for a new board trustee through Jan. 10, 2016.

Mazzochi, who had been vice chairwoman, has assumed the chairmanship following Hamilton's departure. Elliott said state law calls for the vice chairman to assume the duties of the chairman if the chairman is not present.

The board is set to meet again Jan. 21.

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