- - Wednesday, October 8, 2014

In “How a college hid $95 million in expenses like booze, shooting clubs” (Web, Oct. 2), Drew Johnson claims the College of DuPage administration has hidden vendor payments from its board of trustees. Mr. Johnson parrots without question the erroneous accusations of a political activist group, Open the Books, which has repeatedly used misleading information to attack the college.

To be clear, there are no “hidden” transactions, nor, as Mr. Johnson would have the reader believe, does the college use a “peculiar type of accounting.” The board of trustees approves on a monthly basis by its own policy individual payments of more than $15,000 and a total dollar amount for all transactions under $15,000. However, the board can always request to see smaller payments broken out. If the board would like to change this policy, it can do so at any time.

Furthermore, the college uses accounting practices in line with national standards typical of large public organizations. Mr. Johnson makes an astonishing claim that we have altered vendor names to facilitate underhanded accounting practices. The document of payments supplied to Open the Books by the college clearly shows there are not varying names used for vendors. As of the writing of this letter, documents on Open the Books’ own website obtained from the college validate this.

Last month, Crowe Horwath, an independent licensed public accounting firm, provided the College of DuPage with a “clean,” “unmodified” opinion on the college’s fiscal year 2014 financial statements and the internal controls over financial reporting. The audit partner stated that sufficient internal controls were in place and that board policy was followed. Also, because the college is in such strong financial shape, we were able to reduce tuition by $4 per credit hour for the first time in our history at a time when college tuition is skyrocketing nationally.

Despite these politically motivated accusations, we operate the College of DuPage as a business, and we take exception with anyone who would denigrate our exemplary performance by misrepresenting or distorting the truth. Anyone who looks at the undistorted facts will see we are a well-operated organization dedicated to serving our students and the community.



College of DuPage

Glen Ellyn, Ill.

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