By Jennifer Duda
College of DuPage Board Trustee Deanne Mazzochi resigned from her position on the Board Feb. 21 to focus her efforts on state issues following her election to the Illinois House of Representatives last November.
Mazzochi was elected to the COD Board of Trustees in April 2015 and became chairman in December of that year. She was reelected to the position in 2016, 2017 and 2018 before turning over the seat to then-Vice Chairman Frank Napolitano last month.
The decision to serve District 502 came easily, she said, reflecting on the College’s mission and the challenges it faced at that time.
“It was plain to me that our community college was fulfilling a whole host of needs to a very large group of residents of different demographics and needs. Because COD's mission is excellence in service to our students and our community and because this institution belongs to its benefactors, I became involved,” she said.
Throughout her time on the Board, the Elmhurst resident sought to strengthen relationships both within the College and between the institution and the communities it serves. She supported efforts to reduce financial burdens to students and local taxpayers and championed tuition and fee cuts as well as property tax freezes with no impact on students and community services. Perhaps most importantly, Mazzochi strongly supported the wide-ranging processes that led to the College’s removal from probation by the Higher Learning Commission.
“I was fortunate to gain the support of this district and my colleagues. I am very grateful that the vast majority of our administrators and our faculty and students understood the College’s vital mission,” she said. “Perhaps our greatest lesson throughout this process is to understand how critically important and fragile good government is. As I move to a new challenge, what will not change is my firm belief in the mission of this College. I very much trust that my remaining colleagues will continue on that mission.”
Following Mazzochi’s resignation, Board members named COD alumna Heidi Holan of Glen Ellyn to fill the vacancy. Holan is a member of the Board of Trustees Budget Committee and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Elmhurst College. She will be sworn in at the Board’s March meeting and complete Mazzochi’s term, which ends in 2021.
Chairman Frank Napolitano applauded Mazzochi for her leadership and her insight over the last four years.
“We are honored to have served this District alongside you,” he said. “As a Board, we have accomplished much over the last several years, but our work continues as we fulfill the mission of the College and look to the future of education. Trustee Holan and her family have strong ties to the College. Her husband and eldest son earned associate degrees from COD and their youngest son is currently a student at the College. I look forward to working with Trustee Holan as we continue to chart the future of this institution.”
College of DuPage Interim President Dr. Brian Caputo voiced his confidence in the direction that the Board is moving.
“On behalf of the College, I would like to personally thank Deanne Mazzochi for her dedicated service and exemplary leadership during a difficult phase in the College’s history,” he said. “Under her leadership, the College achieved many key objectives that included instituting financial reform, creating increased economic development partnerships and developing a wide array of vital academic opportunities within District 502 and beyond. I wish her the best and I look forward to working with Trustee Holan as we continue to strengthen student success.”