The College of DuPage Board of Trustees voted during their regular June 20 Board meeting to select Dr. Brian W. Caputo to serve as the seventh president in the College’s 52-year history.
The College conducted a nationwide search to fill the position following the departure of Dr. Ann Rondeau, who stepped down in December 2018 to become president at the Naval Postgraduate School. Caputo, then Vice President for Administrative Affairs and CFO at the College, was named interim president in January.
“Dr. Caputo brings with him a wealth of experience and leadership qualities that will serve College of DuPage well. He possesses a clear understanding of where higher education is heading and values collaboration with both faculty and staff,” said Board Chairman Frank Napolitano. “My fellow Board members and I would like to thank everyone involved in this process, including those who participated in and provided valuable feedback on each of the candidate forums. I am grateful to the College community for helping to identify the best fit for this outstanding institution.”
Caputo said he is gratified with the Board’s decision. He and his wife, Karen, have lived in the district more than 20 years and their three children attended College of DuPage.
“Karen and I feel very much at home at College of DuPage. We appreciate being an integral part of the College community and look forward to contributing to its continued advancement,” he said. “College of DuPage, already a leader in higher education, is entering what I believe is a renaissance period. With the ability to adapt to the growing needs of all our stakeholders, the possibilities for this institution are endless and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help shape the course of its future.”
Caputo has a range of experience in higher education, having previously served as a full-time faculty member at Central Michigan University. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Northern Illinois University.
Since joining College of DuPage, Caputo has been instrumental in helping to strengthen key institutional initiatives in partnership with the Board, administration, faculty, staff and students. Under his leadership, the College’s general obligation bond rating improved from AA to AA+ with Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings, and Moody’s Investors Service affirmed the College’s Aa1 rating as well as shifted its outlook from stable to positive.
Caputo has been integrally involved in the College’s Guided Pathways initiative, which seeks to help students choose, enter and complete a program of study aligned with the student’s goals for employment and further education.
He also has been heavily involved with Project Hire-Ed, the College’s workforce development program designed to better align post-secondary education with specific workforce skill requirements through partnerships with area employers.
Moreover, Caputo was a member of an executive team that worked to establish Innovation DuPage, a cooperative venture that promotes business growth and job creation by connecting small businesses with the necessary resources to thrive, while providing new owners with the tools to succeed.
Innovation DuPage, which recently opened in the newly renovated Glen Ellyn Civic Center, was formed collaboratively with multiple governmental, economic development and academic organizations.
Caputo earned a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, a Master of Science in Accountancy from DePaul University, and a Master of Public Administration from NIU. He also earned a Ph.D. from NIU with public administration, public policy and government finance as fields of study.
A Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Public Finance Officer, Caputo became a board member of the national Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) in 2015. The GASB is a seven-member board that establishes accounting and financial reporting standards for units of state and local government in the United States, including public institutions of higher education.
Caputo brings more than 35 years of leadership and executive experience to his role as president. Prior to becoming a vice president at College of DuPage in March 2017, he served as Chief Financial Officer/City Treasurer of the City of Aurora for nearly 19 years.