TC5.21.15SPRINGFIELD- At a time, Illinois college students are paying more than double the national average to attend a public four-year university, university administrators are receiving lavish country club memberships and inflated housing and travel allowances on top of their quarter of a million dollar salaries.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) advanced House Bill 3593 to reform the misuse and abuse of taxpayer dollars at public universities and colleges in Illinois.

Last week, a report was released exposed the perks and extravagant salaries received by public universities and community college administrators with state funds. Abuses such as country club and wildlife reservation memberships were exposed in the report.    

“The report released last week displays a blatant disregard for the value of taxpayer dollars,” said Cullerton. “This legislation will move us in the right direction as we continue to investigate and correct the misuse of funds.”

HB 3593 amends the Public Community College Act with a series of reforms in reaction to recent events at the College of DuPage’s severance package given to its outgoing President Robert Brueder.

This legislation includes three major reforms:

•    First off, all new severance agreements for outgoing community college employees are limited to one year and benefits.

•    Secondly, public notice is required for any new or amended contracts entered into with employees.

•    Thirdly, this legislation no longer allows boards to enter into contracts with automatic renewals or extensions. All contracts must have start and end dates that cannot exceed four years. Under this legislation, contract extensions and renewals would be granted during open board meetings.

“At a time we are asking families and students to pay inflated tuition costs and fees, administrators are traveling on the taxpayers’ dime,” said Cullerton. “These reforms will move us one step closer in ensuring government funds are spent responsibly and effectively. Our students shouldn’t sacrifice their education or financial health to ensure our administrators receive golden parachutes for disappointing performances.”  

HB 3593 passed the Senate’s Committee on Higher Education.

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