By Brian Kleeman
In her new role as Assistant General Counsel at College of DuPage, Lilianna Kalin is focusing primarily on bringing a cohesive approach to the legal aspects of employee/labor relations.
“I believe that ultimately all COD employees have the same goal and vision - to help the institution fulfill its mission,” she said. “In my role, I hope that by engaging, learning, listening and understanding the issues that may be faced by an employee to the concerns that are shared by a collective bargaining unit, I can assist in the resolution of those issues in a collaborative manner. In doing so, I can help the College focus on providing the community with excellent teaching and an incredible learning environment.”
Kalin (Riverside) earned her Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law and developed an interest in labor relations as an assistant state’s attorney for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago. Working in the Civil Actions Bureau, she represented county employers on a variety of claims while having direct responsibility for a number of cases brought before numerous courts, boards and commissions.
“It was interesting work but I found myself operating in a defensive role,” she said. “I realized there was a need for better processes or decision-making opportunities when working with employees. I prefer to work more proactively rather than defensively, and work collaboratively within the institution to address concerns before a problem or complaint arises.”
Kalin continued her work as senior labor and employment counsel for the Cook County Health and Hospitals System where, as lead negotiator, she bargained with 13 separate unions covering 23 collective bargaining agreements.
College of DuPage is a natural progression of her work, and Kalin looks forward to the opportunity of shaping this new position.
“I have found that my mission is working in the public sector, whether it is in health or education,” she said. “College of DuPage has an excellent reputation. I look forward to further developing the labor relationships with the various employee groups on campus, to help create the best working environment possible.”