- Published: Friday, July 29, 2016 03:50 PM
VILLA PARK – State Senator Tom Cullerton’s college administrative reforms were signed into law today.
This reform package was advanced by Cullerton, a Villa Park Democrat, in response to the repetitive reports of abuse and misuse of taxpayer dollars at the state’s universities and community colleges, in particular the College of DuPage, located in Cullerton’s backyard.
“These new laws are necessary first steps to stop waste, fraud and abuse at our state universities and community colleges, “ Cullerton said. “We need to put an end to the days of college administrators banking on executive perks at the expense of our college students.
One of the new laws will prevent a lame duck community college board from entering into a new contract with a college administrator starting 45 days prior to Election Day through the rest of their terms.
Cullerton knows that with these new laws we will be able to better protect taxpayers and tuition payers from future scandals
The reform package would also require that community college and university boards be required to take four hours of professional development training in topics that include labor laws, open meetings act requirements, or ethics training.
“We need to find ways to make a higher education more affordable in Illinois,” Cullerton said. “These new laws were a long time coming and will help keep some control on the rising costs of higher education.”
Recognition Process (Senate Bill 2155) – Provides that for a community college to be recognized by ICCB, the college must show compliance with applicable state and federal laws regarding employment, contracts and compensation.
Preventing Lame-Duck Decisions (Senate Bill 2158) – Prohibits community college boards from entering into new employee contracts or changing existing employee contracts 45 days prior to Election Day for trustees and extends through the lame-duck period until the first meeting of the new board.
In 2009, Former DuPage Community College President Breuder’s contract extension was approved by a lame-duck board.
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.
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.
University Board Training (Senate Bill 2174)- Requires every voting member of a public university governing board to complete a minimum of four hours of professional development leadership training that range from labor laws, open meetings act, freedom of information regulations, ethics and financial and accountability oversight.
Cullerton looks forward to working with his colleagues next legislative session to further reform administrative costs at state institutions of higher education to move the state forward and protect Illinois’ college students.