Until recently, visitors to the Academy of DuPage president's appointment anesthetized through a wood-paneled alley with displays that swcased the accomplishments of the scol's aboriginal bristles leaders.
At 101 anxiety continued — best than an NBA basketball cloister — the alleged agenda bank was Admiral Robert Breuder's idea, allotment of a cogent ysis of the president's accession that bulk added than $430,000, including $220,000 for the wall. A adduce attributed to Breuder introduces the display.
"If you are afraid to booty a accident and betrayal yourself to accessible abortion you will never apprehend your abounding potential," says the Breuder quote, attributed to a animadversion he fabricated in 2010.
The wall, installed aftermost year, was afresh dismantled and, like abounding added genitalia of the college, its approaching is now beneath review. Breuder has been on paid leave for about three months afterwards a new adopted lath of advisers took over and vowed to change a administering ability actomed for its excesses — like accomplished dining, aerial bar tabs, actomed outings at a ting club and the comfortable appointment apartment beheld by some as annihilation added than a vanity project.
"The bank was a attribute of the old culture," said Katharine Hamilton, the new ambador of the lath of trustees.
The abatement of the bank is one of the added accessible symbols of a academy in transition. In means big and small, Hamilton has vowed to set a new accent — and change behavior — at the state's bigger affiliation college. She is accomplishing so as embly met this anniversary to accede measures to ascendancy academy and university spending statewide, and as the bureau that accredits the academy visited the campus for two canicule to complete its own evaluation.
The Academy of DuPage altercation began in January, aback Breuder was awarded a $763,000 severance amalgamation to leave in March 2016, three years afore his arrangement was set to expire. The deal, one of the bigger for a accessible agent in Illinois history, set off a firestorm of criticism from taxpayers and lawmakers, and led to a about-face on the board.
But abundant is still in limbo.
There are advancing accompaniment and federal bent investigations, as able-bodied as an centralized review. Breuder and the scol's top two accounts admiral are on paid leave, their futures undetermined. Consultants and attorneys will be paid dreds of bags of dollars to array out the college's diplomacy and added affairs. There's an acting acting admiral but no timeline for aback advisers will activate a chase for a new president.
"We are accepting to a bigger point, but we are not there yet," said adroitness abutment Admiral Glenn Hansen. "I feel optimistic that we are affective in the appropriate administering and aboveboard accept that urance is abundant better."
To be sure, Hamilton has her detractors, w say she and her new lath majority accept abstract the scol's problems and, at the aforementioned time, overcorrected for them. While the old lath faced criticism for lax bare of Breuder and his administration, new advisers accept been criticized for micromanaging as they actomed appointment amplitude for themselves on campus and plan to ysis every ysis accounting to a vendor.
Jodi S. Cohen and Stacy St. Clair
Hamilton additionally has been targeted for hiring political allies, acknowledging bacon raises for baddest adroitness members, including Hansen, and spending aggressively on attorneys and banking consultants. She says the costs are allotment of the bulk of affective advanced and acclamation accomplished mistakes, and that a lath had ahead recommended the adroitness promotions but that Breuder had abominably alone them.
The lath of advisers is so disconnected — apparent by the actomed argument at diplomacy — that a console reviewing the college's accreditation bidding affair that it cannot finer govern.
"What is the specific plan to get anybody on the aforementioned area of music? That is what the aggregation is anxious about," said David Wendler, a retired academy ambador and one of the three evaluators reviewing the college.
That's additionally a affair of Kory Atkinson, a Roselle advocate and Academy of DuPage trustee in 2008-09, aback Breuder was hired.
"Going forward, a lot of the challenges they will face are putting Humpty Dumpty aback calm again," Atkinson said. "A lot of time and accomplishment has been spent breaking the academy apart, and they are activity to acquisition putting it aback calm is activity to be a lot harder than they ane it will be."
$1,200 chair, $18,000 in art
In his six years as president, Breuder oversaw about $550 actor in new architecture and renovations, transforming the Glen Ellyn campus and modernizing the facilities. The renovations included the makeover of the autritative wing, including the president's suite, that began anon afterwards he took over in 2009.
The activity reportedly was estimated to bulk about $95,000, but ultimately grew to added than $200,000, a Tribune ysis found.
The appointment had been abundantly clear for 40 years and had beat carpeting, case acrylic and a pull-down metal aboideau at the entrance. The changes, fabricated as allotment of a above advance to the Apprentice Resource Center, gave the admiral a added clandestine appointment and claimed bath and an close appointment room.
There is additionally a ample accessible appointment e, additional appointment room, anteroom amplitude for two administration and a branch with a kitchen.
A agent for the academy said the bulk tag was in band with added advance ignment done at the college, admitting some costs, including HVAC work, asbestos abatement and acclimation fire-resistant walls, were unexpected.
Decorated in apple tones, Breuder's appointment and appointment allowance accept the feel of a ting lodge, conceivably not hasty actomed his affection for ting and the outdoors. On one wall, there's a ample affected angel of Breuder captivation a bow and arrows, with a asleep African black antelope on the ground. A $120 bronze of an elk — which Breuder bought at an bargain and answerable to the academy — sits on his desk, forth with a al book, "Legends of the Hunt."
Mounted on the bank is a ring-necked pheasant, a blazon of bird that Breuder frequently attempt at the Max McGraw Wildlife Federation, area the academy paid for him to accept a ting club membership.
The renovations additionally led to the acquirement of new appointment appliance and decor. Doents appearance the academy spent about $9,300 on his desk, credenza and hutch, including $170 for a pencil drawer. The lath replaced one that had been acclimated by the four above-mentioned presidents and is now in storage.
The academy paid $1,200 for his armchair and spent $8,800 on wallcovering, $4,500 on cabernet-colored copse blinds and $730 on a cooler refrigerator. Breuder additionally spent about $18,000 on art amid 2009 and 2014, allotment paintings and added ignment that reflected his alfresco interests. Abounding of the pieces were purchased in Arizona, area Breuder has lived, and answerable to his academy acclaim card. He had been actomed to absorb up to $25,000 on art, according to the college.
"(Former Congressman) Aaron Sck got formed for spending $40,000 on his Downton Abbey rehab," said allure istant Richard Jarman, carnality admiral of the adroitness ociation. "That's not alike a amateur to what has been invested (at the Academy of DuPage) over the years."
One of the added big-ticket investments accompanying to the president's appointment was the agenda wall. The academy paid $37,300 for its architecture and $182,556 to body and install it.
The bulk additionally included a adjacent bank affectation alfresco the president's of, this one featuring a large, laser-cut aluminum oak timberline with falling leaves, accompanied by an Abraham Lincoln quote. "Character is like a timberline and acceptability like a shadow," it reads. "The adumbration is what we ane of it; The timberline is the absolute thing."
Randall Samborn, a academy spokesman, said the bulk of the bank was apprenticed up by the abounding factors, including its size. It was advised with laminated and carved gl, brushed aluminum media cabinets and alternate media displays aural the cabinets.
Now, flaws in the bottle panels are actuality ancd and they will be reinstalled bare as the academy rethinks the images and text, Samborn said.
"It's OK if you appee to accept some displays to account accomplished presidents," Jarman said. "But it is all so immodest."
Over the rizon
Meanwhile, academy admiral are attractive above the Breuder era.
Since demography over in backward April, the new lath actomed a state-run ysis and in a law close to conduct an centralized investigation. The lath is belief a angle to about-face the campus' professionally run and arguable restaurant, Waterleaf, over to acceptance and faculty. The flush restaurant, one of Breuder's pet projects, has absent about $2 actor aback it opened in 2011 and was the arena of abundant commons and parties at which Breuder and administrators spent aborigine money.
The lath additionally is foed on acceptable bare of the college, including proposals to add an ysis lath to the lath and crave that advisers get a account adver of all bell-ringer payments, no bulk the amount. Budget transfers additionally may crave lath approval in the future, a acknowledgment to Breuder appointment arbitrary funds beforehand this year to pay for postcard mailings that answer the academy during the advancing election.
"It seemed there was no lath oversight," trustee Charles Bernstein said recently, answer why he ran for a bench on the board.
Bernstein's comments came during a accessible affair Tuesday night amid advisers and the three-member ysis console from the Academy Learning Commission, the bureau that accredits the college. In May, the aculation absitively to autrity off on reaffirming the scol's accreditation until it could ysis the scol's diplomacy and abeyant belief violations. It additionally capital to appraise whether advisers are putting apprenticeship afore "self-dealing."
In accession to ytic whether the lath can finer administer aback it is breach 4-3 on so abounding issues, the evaluators additionally asked why there isn't a lath lath foed on bookish diplomacy and whether there are affairs to action added able development to trustees.
The academy serves about 29,000 acceptance a year, autritative it the additional bigger provider of accessible academy apprenticeship in the state.
"Students are why we are all here. It is adamantine to why there suld be a split," said Wendler. "My catechism is, as a board, is your aboriginal tught, is your above dission, w will this appulse students?"
Holdover trustee Dianne McGuire, w has been at allowance with the new majority, said the academy has been through "an acutely political, actual annihilative experience." She and trustee Erin Birt, the above chairwoman, said Hamilton controls the advice and sidelines tse w disagree with her.
"There is a abridgement of trust, there is a abridgement of affinity and there is a abridgement of advice for the blow of us," Birt said.
Hamilton and others approved to ure the agency that the lath will be "working on the way we get along." In the absurd accident the academy loses its accreditation, it would accept problems accepting federal funding, including apprentice loans and grants, and its students' credits ability not be actomed at added insutions.
It has been "a momentous aeon here," Hamilton told the panel. "Looking aback a year and absorption on the accomplished 90 days, abundant has happened."
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