Lawmakers Approve Measure To Limit College Severance Packages

Jul 9, 2015

Illinois lawmakers have sent the governor a measure inspired by a hefty severance package given to the former head of the state's largest community college.

Credit Illinois Public Radio

The College of DuPage's last president got $763,000 to finish his contract years early.  That led to calls to rein in future buy-outs, statewide.

Republican Representative Mike Tryon of Crystal Lake says COD's situation is egregious:

"I hope it never happens to any community college in any other part of the state. So the question on this bill is: is this a reasonable policy? To give somebody one year of severance. My community college president today makes $220,000. One year of a severance package I think is way more than enough."

It took two tries for the limitations to pass the House.  It caps the severance community college presidents can receive for leaving early to a years' pay and benefits. It also caps the length of contracts to four years.

Community colleges say the restrictions will hurt their efforts to recruit top administrators.  Critics also say Republicans are being hypocritical.  While this measure limits local boards' control ... the G-O-P wants to give local governments greater latitude when it comes to collective bargaining.