Legislation sponsored by State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) that limits the size and scope of community college buyout packages/severance agreements and which limits the length of employment contracts has been approved unanimously in the Illinois House.
In response to the $763,000 contract buyout approved by College of DuPage Trustees for President Robert Breuder, Ives carried HB3593, which would limit the amount of future agreements to no more than one year of salary and benefits. “The agreement that the majority of the COD trustees approved for their underperforming president was excessive and not in the best interest of the taxpayers who fund the college,” said Ives. “I would have liked to have been able to roll back his agreement, but at least moving forward there will be taxpayer protections in place.”
The bill also provides that employment contracts entered into with a community college employee may not exceed three years if it is a rolling contract, with a rollover term limited to one year. Additionally, the bill limits employment contracts with a set start and end date to no more than four years with no provision for any automatic rollover clauses. “Long-term contracts have become problematic in instances where an employee is underperforming and a change needs to be made,” Ives said. “My bill also provides that any contract renewal or extension discussion must take place in an open meeting.”
Ives has been the leading force in the House of Representative in responding to allegations of malfeasance at the College of DuPage. In addition to HB3593, Ives is also the Chief Sponsor of HR55, which directs the Illinois Auditor General to conduct a thorough performance audit of all State moneys provided to the College of DuPage for fiscal years 2011-2014.