U of I Trustees OK Contract For Coach, Killeen Bonus
University of Illinois trustees have approved a contract with football coach Lovie Smith that will pay him at least $21 million over six years. The board approved initial terms for Smith after he was hired in March that were backloaded to pay him $10 million in salary over his final two years.
The final contract now moves $2 million of that money to earlier years in his contract. U of I spokesperson Robin Kaler declined to say what the buyout terms are if Smith is fired because he and others still need to sign the contract. In addition to his salary, Smith is eligible for up to $8 million in bonuses.
Smith is a longtime NFL coach, formerly with the Chicago Bears, who was hired to replace Bill Cubit.
Trustees also approved a $100,000 performance bonus for President Timothy Killeen for his first year on the job. Under his contract, the bonus was the maximum Killeen could have received for
reaching performance goals. His salary is $600,000 per year.
He finished his first year on the job in May. The university has increased enrollment on all three campuses during that period. Killeen also pushed for tuition freezes that trustees agreed to the past two academic years.
Killeen also has pushed cost-cutting measures intended to help the three campuses deal with diminished state funding and the ongoing state budget crisis.
Trustees Thursday also approved the contract of King Li as the inaugaral dean and chief academic officer of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine.
Currently an administrator at Wake Forest University, he'll begin his new job October 1. Preliminary plans call for enrolling the college's first 32 students in 2018.
Other appointments approved Thursday include Edward Seidel as the new interim vice president for research for the U of I system, Marilyn Marshall as interim vice president for academic affairs, and Kimberlee Kidwell as the new dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES.)