News Local/State

Report: U of I Kilgore Rehiring Means Loss Of Donor Funds


James KilgoreAllowing embattled professor James Kilgore to resume teaching at the University of Illinois could mean a hit to the school’s finances.

Last month, The U of I’s Board of Trustees determined that individual campus units are free to hire adjunct, part-time instructors under existing hiring practices. 

That includes Kilgore, who had been a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army in the 1970s, and had spent five years in prison for his part in a bank robbery in which someone was killed.

Kilgore’s contract had not been renewed over the summer after his past became public.

The Chicago Tribune reports that at least one major donor plans to withdraw his support if Kilgore is allowed to teach. 

Chicago businessman Richard Hill says he’ll pull about $4.5 million in donations to the Chicago campus’ bioengineering department. 

The Tribune said Hill last year pledged the largest gift in the history of the U of I's College of Engineering - $6.5 million.  He had given about $2 million so far.

In a letter to top university officials, Hill said he ‘no longer wished to be associated with the U of I' after the board’s decision. He told the paper in later e-mails that money is available if the university "does the right thing.’