Governor Rauner Signs Ives Bill to Limit Size and Scope of Community College Severance Agreements

Governor Rauner signed pivotal legislation today that will limit the future size and scope of community college severance agreements.

Prompted by a $763,000 contract buyout approved by a former College of DuPage (COD) Board for outgoing College President Dr. Robert Breuder, State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) filed HB 3593, which limits future buyout or severance agreements to no more than one year of salary and benefits. Even though a newly-elected COD Board of Trustees voided the Breuder deal, Ives said her bill will prevent other college boards from inking similarly excessive deals for underperforming administrators.

“That agreement was irresponsible and disrespectful to the taxpayers who fund the College of DuPage,” said Ives. “While the new board seems to be acting more in line with the best interests of the college’s stakeholders, this new law will prevent mismanagement at the levels we’ve seen at COD from happening in the future.”

According to Ives, the new law also limits employment contracts with a set start and end date to no more than four years with no provision for any automatic rollover clauses.

Joining Ives at the bill signing in Chicago on Tuesday were Chief Senate Sponsor Michael Connelly and new College of DuPage Board President Kathy Hamilton.

Ives has been the leading force in the House of Representatives in responding to allegations of malfeasance at the College of DuPage. In addition to HB 3593, Ives was also the Chief Sponsor of the unanimously-approved HR 55, which directed the Illinois Auditor General to conduct a thorough performance audit of all State moneys provided to the College of DuPage for fiscal years 2007-2014.

In addition to Ives’ HB 3593 and HR 55, State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) also took aim at the College of DuPage this year by sponsoring HB 303, which adds transparency to publicly-funded severance agreements by making them subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). McDermod’s bill was signed into law earlier in the month.

“Given the startling instances of mismanagement of taxpayer dollars at COD, I view this grouping of legislation as a very solid step in the right direction,” said Ives.

To hear more about this new law, click here.