One of the state representatives from the Champaign area says it’s an insult when the University of Illinois lays off blue-collar workers, yet pays thousands of dollars to executive head hunters to find people such as a $650,000-a-year president. The Illinois House has passed a bill to restrict state universities’ use of such recruiters. State Rep. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet, pictured) complimented the U. of I. Board of Trustees for looking internally for the successor to outgoing president Michael Hogan. Longtime administrator Robert Easter will serve for two years.
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“There’s millions of dollars in payroll at the University of Illinois president’s office,” he said. “What are we paying them to do if it’s not to hire a chancellor?” Rose said contracting a search firm can cost more than a quarter of a million dollars, yet “at the same time, they’re laying off, frankly, my constituents at the machine shop.” When questioned during debate, Rose said U. of I. athletic coaches and expenses are funded by ticket revenue and contributions, not tuition or public funds. The university’s athletic department has attracted attention by firing coaches from three sports and paying off more than $7 million worth of contracts in doing so.