Community College Reform Legislation Stalled

May 28, 2015

Legislation that would cap contract lengths and severance pay for Illinois community college presidents is stalled in Springfield...at least for now.

Under the measure, Illinois' 48 community colleges could not offer a president a contract longer than four years...and ends exorbitant severance packages.

It's a reaction to the recent shakeup at the suburban College of DuPage, where the college's president negotiated a $700-hundred-thousand dollar severance package to break his 10-year contract. Further investigation into the college revealed extravagant benefits for many top COD officials.

A report released by the General Assembly last week blasted what they called "lavish perks" at higher ed institutions statewide, including guaranteed employment and high salaries.

But opponents like Matt Berry with the Illinois Community College Board say the perks have a trickle down effect at community colleges.

"We oftentimes can use contracts as a way to guarantee and ensure that a president who's highly qualified wills tay for a greater length of term and provide some stability to the institution," he said.

Parkland College in Champaign, for example, has had three presidents in the past six years.

The bill's sponsors have agreed to hold hearings over the summer in order to negotiate an agreement on the caps.

Story source: WILL