U of I payout to scandalized chancellor called common example of excess
Illinois needs to learn from a couple of coastal states how to rein in ridiculously high severance and transition packages like the one the University of Illinois paid out in 2009, the Better Government Association (BGA) contends.
The BGA claims that these packages rival so called "golden parachutes" in the private sector and the process of determining their value has lacked transparency.
Former University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Richard Herman resigned in 2009 after an admissions scandal. He kept his entire $395,000 salary after being transitioned to a special assistant to the interim president and was granted a sabbatical worth $244,000. He then received a $212,000 teaching salary as a communications professor, despite only teaching two courses as opposed to the usual four.
The BGA wants Illinois to follow the example of California and Florida. In 2011, Florida passed a law restricting severance pay for any "officer, agent, employee, or contractor" to no more than 20 weeks' salary, or six weeks' salary if the employee doesn't have a contract. California passed a law in 2015 pertaining to K-12 school superintendents, reducing severance pay from 18 months to 12.
Illinois does have a law restricting severance packages at community colleges to one year's salary, among other mandates. The BGA would like to see this policy extended to all Illinois public universities, if not all public employees in the state.