Records released by the College of DuPage show the president, Robert Breuder, expensed lavish meals, wine and a hunting excursion to the nonprofit College of DuPage Foundation, according to the Chicago Tribune:
The records, among hundreds the foundation fought to keep from the public, show how Breuder used donor money to engage his passions for hunting, wine and fine dining. The documents also reinforce Breuder’s reputation as a chief executive who lived well on the school’s tab and often spent in a manner at odds with a community college’s mission of providing an affordable education. Breuder, according to statements filed with the Internal Revenue Service, expensed more than $102,000 to the foundation between July 2010 and June 2014 for ‘leadership cultivation meetings.’ But records obtained by the Tribune show some of the money was spent on trustees’ bar bills, a rifle for an outgoing foundation officer, a limousine ride, even a stuffed pheasant to decorate the campus’s high-end restaurant.
In May, the COD’s board of trustees voted 4-3 to put Breuder on paid administrative leave after he faced scathing criticism for extravagant spending.
Before that vote at the meeting, board chairwoman Katharine Hamilton promised that the college would focus on transparent reform.
“This institution faces criminal investigations, legislative disdain . . . and alienation from constituents,” Hamilton said at the board meeting. “Those constituents are rightly outraged at what the Chicago Tribune has reported in the last seven months.”
The college has come under fire over a $763,000 severance package to end Breuder ’s contract next year, three years early. His compensation this year is $484,812.
Investigators — both federal and state — are looking into Breuder ’s oversight of the school’s financial matters, among other things.