- Published: Monday, July 20, 2015 03:02 PM
CHICAGO- In light of the continuous news of scandals and misuse of taxpayer dollars on state universities and community college campuses, the Senate’s Subcommittee on Executive Compensation held their first meeting.
State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) grilled College of DuPage witnesses on their efforts to prevent a repeat of abuses of state dollars on their campus.
“We need to take steps to maintain the integrity of our public community colleges and universities. There needs to be reform to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and responsibly,” Cullerton said.
Cullerton is committed to reforming abuses at state community colleges and universities to keep institutions credible and costs affordable for students.
Five initiatives were discussed today to protect state dollars at Illinois public universities and community colleges:
Community College Trustee Training (Senate Bill 2157) – requires new college board trustees to complete four hours of professional development training that range from labor laws, open meetings act, freedom of information regulations, ethics and financial and accountability oversight.
External Audits (Senate Bill 2155) – amends existing laws to require the Auditor General to audit one-third of all community colleges every year.
Preventing Lame-Duck Decisions (Senate Bill 2158) – prohibits community college boards from entering into a new employee contract or change existing employee contracts 60 days prior to Election Day for trustees and extends through the lame-duck period until the first meeting of the new board.
In 2009, President Breuder’s contract extension was approved by a lame-duck board.
Severance Packages inclusion in Pension Checks (Senate Bill 2156) – Changes the existing pension code to not allow severance payments to be classified as pensionable earnings.
Transparency at Community Colleges and State Universities (Senate Bill 2159) – Promotes transparency by requiring contract terms, annual performance reviews of administrators and forbids contract buyouts in cases of pending criminal charges.
“I look forward to working with committee members in instituting safeguards to guarantee these abuses do not occur in the future,” said Cullerton.