Lawmakers reject limits to college presidents severance and contracts

SPRINGFIELD — Legislation to limit the severance and contract length for community college presidents failed in the House after strong support earlier in the year.

The House had previously passed the bill unanimously, but a three-fifths majority was required after amendments made in the Senate.

It fell twenty votes short, as lawmakers like State Rep. Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley) questioned why a statewide solution was needed because of one $763,000 severance package awarded to the outgoing president of the College of DuPage. Mautino said it’s a broad brushstroke, which removes some of the local control.

State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) felt her bill was fair, limiting contracts for community college presidents to four years and capping severance at one year’s salary plus benefits. She seemed surprised by the opposition to the legislation.

The issue isn’t dead, as the Senate plans on hold hearings later this summer on compensation for administrators at both community colleges and public universities.