For the Good of Illinois

Subscriber Special: Illinois Junior College Goes Wild

July 29, 2014 06:40 AM
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Wine Cellar, French Restaurant, Shooting Club, corrupted $20 million state grant, a President's $500,000 Comp Package, $600 Million in Construction Projects, & much more...
 
Forbes
 
"The Real Financial Crisis in College" Read my editorial at Forbes today July 29, 2014
 
Recently, College of DuPage (COD) President Dr. Robert Breuder in Glen Ellyn, IL tried to "shake loose" a $20 million state construction grant by bringing political support to incumbent Governor Pat Quinn.  Thanks to our Freedom of Information Act request and three minute public comment, we stopped him. Read Breuders email strategy here.
 
 
COD is cash rich with $180 million in the bank.The college didn't need the state's money, but they wanted the money- so badly- they risked their integrity.
 
After a scathing editorial in the Chicago Tribune and front page news stories at the Daily Herald, the governor said the president's plan was "extremely alarming" and employed "misrepresentation."  In fact, "all future capital dollars" were suspended.  
It's a victory.  Though, our work continues...
 
Do you want to know why the price of college is so expensive? 
Colleges and universities have become fiefdoms, right down to the community college level. An excellent case is in my own backyard at the College of DuPage (COD):
  • COD President Robert Breuder has an employment contract worth $469,345 placing him amongst the TOP 100 highest college and university presidents.
  • COD has paid $27,931 in membership dues and fees at Dr. Breuder's private shooting club Max McGraw's in Dundee, IL since 2009.
  • COD spent over $192,000 in wine and wine accessory purchases in just the past three years. That doesn't even include the cost of building the "wine cellar."
  • COD established an upscale French restaurant that lost over $576,000 in its first year of operation (2012).
  • $600 million in construction costs since 2009 were predicated on "enrollment growth."  But, COD today has 1,200 fewer students than it did in 1995.
  • COD hiked property tax rates by 59% since 2008 so taxes increased while values decreased
  • COD has the highest tuition spike of all Illinois colleges and universities during the last decade.
  • 20% of all COD students default on their student loans within three years of graduation.
Why is the cost of college becoming unattainable to the middle and working class student? Read my editorial at Forbes today.
 
Use OpenTheBooks.com and start searching the salaries, pensions and checkbook spending of your local community college.  In most of the country, we have the data online.
 
See it all for yourself.
 
Adam
 
ADAM ANDRZEJEWSKI
 
Founder, Open The Books
Chairman, American Transparency 
 
P.S. Bad actors hate sunlight... help us expose more spending to stop more mis-allocation of resources. Please make a tax deductible gift of $25, $50, $100, $250 or $500 today.
 

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Robert
Hinesville, GA
10/23/2014 09:14 PM
 

  Adam, Has anything changed at College of DuPage since you exposed the thievery? Did local citizens regain control (yet)? Any chance of tracking the status (good or bad) of some of the more despicable cases in a side blog on this site? Local citizens could provide direct input and feeback. Would make a nice experiment on how exposing the bad guys allows us, the average citizen, to take back what was already THEIRS. It would be awesome to track the history and steps COD undergoes to remake it into a respectable institution once again. Just an idea. Thank you for helping to shine a bright light on bad characters, the despicable trends amongst our elected representatives and the out-of-control thievery within our education system.