Rauner Signs Bill Limiting Severance Packages For Community College Presidents

(CBS) — There won’t be any more community college severance contracts of the type that led to a voter revolt at the College of DuPage.

Gov. Bruce Rauner Tuesday signed into law a bill limiting similar deals.

It was a low-key ceremony. The only person on hand besides the bill’s sponsors was COD Board Chair Kathy Hamilton, who blew the whistle on college President Robert Brueder’s $762,000 severance package and spearheaded a voter revolt.

The bill’s author, State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, said the problem doesn’t end with the Brueder agreement.

She said many contracts for college executives contain outlandish housing and vehicle allowances, club memberships and other perks.

“Taxpayers deserve reasonable protections,” she said.

The new law was an outgrowth of the Brueder controversy, and was sponsored by Ives and State Sen. Michael Connelly, R-Wheaton. It takes effect immediately.

Ives said Rauner told them when signing the bill, “Keep up the good work.”

The bill passed unanimously in the Illinois House and was approved with one dissenting vote in the state Senate. But changes were made that met with intense lobbying by the colleges and resistance by a number of legislators.

Ives thanked Senate Democrats who issued a report highly critical of college executive pay and benefits, followed shortly thereafter by controversy over a $400,000 bonus that University of Illinois trustees rejected for outgoing Chancellor Phyllis Wise.

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