Don’t bother asking if the University of Illinois has any more of those jobs where you can make $70,000 without showing up for work. A state audit reports the university’s payroll systems were vulnerable enough for hourly employees to continue to collect paychecks after they quit or got fired. U of I spokesman Tom Hardy says only one person exploited that weakness.
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Hardy says the man, who left the university’s employ of his own volition, was an “academic hourly employee” in an area related to agricultural research. The former employee, Hardy says, pleaded guilty, made full restitution, and is on probation. While the amount of money lost may not seem like much in a multi-billion-dollar organization, Hardy says it counts.
“The size of the university doesn’t matter; whether or not it was $72,000 or $7 million, it would have equal importance, because it would expose a shortcoming in our system. We want to correct that and make sure it doesn’t happen,” says Hardy. “Every dollar has high value, particularly given financial circumstances that the state and the university (find themselves) in.”