COD Thrives in Uncertain Economy

Board of Trustees image

By Jennifer Duda

Despite a challenging economy, College of DuPage has achieved significant financial accomplishments in the past four years, including increasing the institution's unallocated fund balance by more than $46.5 million since 2009.

"Given the poor financial performance of our federal and state government, our taxpayers might naturally ask: Does it have to be this way?" said COD Board of Trustees Chairman David Carlin. "The answer is no. College of DuPage has shown that you can be fiscally responsible and still grow enrollment, increase programs of study and provide a stunning physical campus for its students."

In 2008, the College maintained a fund balance of just over $42 million. However, since 2009, the College has contributed an average of $14.7 million to the fund balance each year, growing COD's unrestricted fund balance by more than $53 million. Combined, the College's restricted and unrestricted fund balances now total more than $101 million, which includes restricting some funds for special IT initiatives and building maintenance.

During the same period, the College has added 38 new certificate programs and 11 new degree programs, is undergoing $550 million in new construction and renovation, and has seen significant enrollment increases when most institutions have seen drops.

"Given that the funding from the state to the College has dwindled to a historical low of 4 percent of the operating budget, far below the original intended funding level of 33 percent, it is even more critical that College of DuPage makes strong financial and budgetary choices that keep the College viable far into the future," said COD President Robert L. Breuder. "We depend on our Board of Trustees to make sound fiscal decisions, and they have not let us down."

Additionally, the College maintains "Aaa/AAA" bond ratings from Moody's and Standard & Poor's, respectively, and has received consistently unqualified clean audit opinions from external auditing company Crowe Horwath.

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