040114 CM 0304csResizeSPRINGFIELD—On Wednesday, Senator Bill Cunningham urged his colleagues on the Higher Education Committee to pass legislation that would reform the financial practices surrounding how higher education administration is compensated.

The reforms were launched after a report revealed inappropriate financial practices occurring at institutions of higher education, including the recent scandal at the College of DuPage.

“Our institutions of higher learning throughout Illinois have continued to be plagued by controversies involving excessive compensation for college administrators, which only cost the taxpayers and the students more money,” Cunningham said. “We need to be protecting our students with reforms that put transparency and accountability into college administrations.”

The legislative package would institute multiple new reforms on both state universities and community colleges. It would require more transparency in the hiring process for executives by requiring the contract to be disclosed in a public meeting. There is also legislation that would ban the use of taxpayer and tuition dollars to fund bonuses that go to college presidents. Another bill will forbid the use of car and housing allowances being from added to one’s salary to ensure a higher pension.

“Illinois has several excellent institutions of higher learning with superb faculty,” Cunningham said. “It is unfortunate that we have to focus on the negative issues. But we need to learn from the mistakes of the past to create a system of higher education that is above board in all of its financial practices.”

Cunningham’s reform package, Senate Bills 2155-2159 and 2174, passed out of committee and is scheduled to be voted on later this spring.