Salaries for administrators at state universities and community college will be put under the microscope by a new Senate subcommittee. The Senate Subcommittee on Executive Compensation will be combing through ten years of employment contracts at the state’s public colleges, looking for deals like the $763,000 severance package paid to the outgoing president of the College of DuPage. The new subcommitte’s chairman, State Sen. Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago), points out this isn’t the first time a college has paid a hefty sum to a departing administrator.
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“I think we’ve seen that problem now come up twice,” Cunningham said, “in both the College of DuPage situation and also with the Illinois State situation from…a little bit over a year ago. So that’s another level we’ll be examining.”
Payouts like $480,000 severance deal with ISU’s president threaten the public’s trust in publicly-funded higher education, according to Cunningham, and can be seen as insulting during a time where the average Illinois college student is saddled with tens of thousands in debt in order to afford going to these schools.
The subcommittee plans on calling members of the College of DuPage’s board of trustees to testify about the severance deal, and hopes to hold several hearings around the state in Chicago, Springfield, and another downstate location.