From WILL - News Local/State -

U Of I May Explore Supplemental Plan To Pair With Pensions

Some University of Illinois faculty are suggesting the school could provide a supplemental package to make up for a perceived loss in pensions with legislature's passage of reform legislation.

Urbana campus education professor Nick Burbules said there have been active conversations with administrators.  

While details need to be worked out, he said the U of I could be looking at a program in which the university matched employee contributions.

Burbules says without it, fellow faculty, particularly younger instructors, will consider offers from other schools.

“I think that there will be faculty who have outside opportunities – who will be, perhaps at the tipping point of deciding whether to stay or go," he said.  "And I think that the current state plan can’t be the only option available to people.  That won’t be competitive in terms of what people can get in other places.”

U of I spokesman Tom Hardy confirmed administrators are looking into a kind of supplemental program for all three campuses. 

Burbules has been active in the University Senates Conference, a governing body made up of faculty in Urbana, Chicago and Springfield. 

He said the group suggested such a move at its November meeting, and could get more discussion when the Urbana campus Senate meets next week.

“What you have in many places is a situation where an employee contribution is matched with some formula by the university, and/or by the employer, " said Burbules.  "I think that some kind of matching program makes a lot of sense to me.  And again, it would be a significant supplement to the gap that’s being created.”

Burbules said it’s unfortunate there wasn’t a chance for lawmakers to develop a plan with the backing of U of I leadership. 

The U of I Urbana Senate meets Monday, December 9 at 3:10 p.m. in The Illini Union.