Bill to Stop Junior College Presidents’ Golden Parchutes

An email from newly-elected State Rep. Peter Breen of DuPage County:

Walt Packard and his golden parachute.

McHenry County College President Walt Packard and his over $300,000 golden parachute.

We’ve watched over the past year as the College of DuPage Board of Trustees has taken a beating in the press for scandal after scandal, and the public outcry has now reached a fever pitch, in response to the massive golden parachute just awarded to its president, Robert Breuder.

You see, at his retirement next year, Breuder will be paid three-quarters of a million dollars – taxpayer dollars – to not work.

This is the same community college president who spent taxpayer funds for his private hunt club membership, a wine cellar, and satellite phones for himself and his companions on an African safari.

You can’t make this stuff up.

But we can fight to stop it.

Last week, over five hundred people attended a meeting of the COD Board, telling those board members to reject this sweetheart deal.

I was proud to represent you and the residents of the 48th District in addressing the Board.

Lots of news outlets covered the event on TV and in print, including this great article in the Chicago Tribune.

Just yesterday, I stood alongside other state reps and each of us presented our legislative ideas to put a stop to the shenanigans plaguing our community colleges.

College of DuPage President praising Governor Pat Quinn.

College of DuPage President Robert Breuder praising Governor Pat Quinn while seeking a $20 million grant for a to-be-named project.

One of the terms of the severance package was to put Robert Breuder’s name on a building.

Well, the way I look at it, we shouldn’t be naming a building after this guy: we should name a reform law after him.

So, I named my proposal the “Breuder Rule.”

It would ban altogether any future excessive severance agreements, defined as more than one year’s salary and benefits.

As for current severance agreements, which are protected by the U.S. Constitution’s Contracts Clause, we can’t ban them, but we can make sure that homeowners and students don’t have to pay for these abuses.

So, the “Breuder Rule” would forbid a community college board from raising property taxes or tuition for the same number of years as the number of years of salary paid out under a severance agreement.

Breen head tilted right looking at camera

Peter Breen

In the case of COD, the “Breuder Rule” would mean no property tax increases or tuition increases for the next three years.

Those board members can find another source of cash for their abusive payout, instead of hammering tapped-out residents and hard-working students.

To save Illinois, we’re going to need reform measures like these at every level, to try to restore the proper balance between the government and the people.

At heart, this means putting the people back in charge of their government.

P.S. – COD Trustee Kathy Hamilton has been the one bright spot on that college’s board, demanding answers and revealing the extravagant waste of tax dollars by Breuder and the rest of the COD Board. The other members of the board were so angry with her watchdog work that they voted to “censure” her, but Kathy doesn’t deserve a “censure,” she deserves an award for uncovering the truth!

P.P.S. – If you’re the type who likes “red meat,” here’s one more article for you: a scathing editorial in today’s Trib about the COD Board.


Bill to Stop Junior College Presidents’ Golden Parchutes — 9 Comments

  1. Where is Little tricky Dicky Durbin on this…

    Instead of helping poor students re-negotiate their College loans he should be working to cut the high cost of education of which things like this is a contributing factor ….

    I would like to see a study, nah, make that an investigation into the high salary’s and perks of all State of Illinois educators…………

  2. This is a disgrace.

    Education Administration wonders why they have such a poor reputation and why we think they waste our tax dollars.

    If you’re in Education, I hope you understand now.

    This Breuder situation just exemplifies the problem; it’s the tip of the iceberg.

    But, Cal, the Tribune article is neither scathing nor well written.

    The Chicago Tribune article seems to me a forced, feigned outrage.

    Even their use of the word “temerity” to describe Kathy Hamilton’s vocal opposition to Breuder revealed the Tribune is more supportive of the side of Breuder rather than the taxpayer.

    They just want to appear outraged at the deal.

  3. And, we have smart capable young people that don’t go to college because they can’t afford it…

    There is no justification for such a payment.

  4. Local boards can create board policy to make employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements more transparent.

    The State can do the same.

    Here is an example.

    The approval process occurs in three phases.

    1. Introduce the contract/collective bargaining agreement (cba) at Board Meeting #1.
    The contract/cba must be posted in its entirety on the district website prior to Board Meeting #1.
    The Contract/cba must be an agenda item listing the name of the person and title, or the name of the union local along with the class of employees the union local covers (teachers, aides, police, etc.) in the board agenda.

    2. Discuss the contract/cba at Board Meeting #2 (minimum 7 days after Board Meeting #1.

    3. Vote on the contract/cba at Board Meeting #3 (minimum 7 days after board Meeting #2.

    State Representative Jeanne Ives introduced a bill to make employment contracts more transparent (some variation of the above) during the last General Assembly but it was never called to vote.

    In the wake of the Breuder $762,000 bonus, another variation of the above was discussed by State Legislators, not sure if it’s been ruled out yet.

    There are a few options to search for higher education (community college and state public 4 year colleges and universities) salaries and benefits.

    Open The Books, which has lots of information about the Breuder fiasco.

    Illinois Board of Higher Education, Public University Administrator and Faculty Database.

    Here’s what that page says.

    “Welcome to the searchable Public University Administrator and Faculty Salary and Benefits Database.
    The database provides salary and benefit information for full-time and part-time administrators and instructional staff at Illinois’ public universities as required by Public Act 96-0266 (effective January 1, 2010).

    P.A. 96-0266 requires that each public university report to the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) the base salary and benefits of the president and all administrators, faculty members, and instructors employed by the college or university.

    The database is searchable by name, position and job title.

    Up to ten institutions or positions can be selected at one time.

    A table resulting from each search displays base salary and additional compensation for employees meeting the selection criteria.

    Clicking an employee’s name displays additional benefits information.

    The first data collection period covered by P.A 96-0266 was fiscal year 2010 — that is, the period from July 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010.

    The information in the Public University Administrator and Faculty Salary and Benefits Database will be updated annually.

    Please note that the Public University Administrator and Faculty Salary Database reports data as submitted by the universities.

    For questions regarding specific institutional data or policies, please contact the institution directly.

    ● Click here to begin your search

    Public Act 96-0266 also requires the board of trustees of each public community college to report salary and benefits information to the IBHE.

    Through agreement with the IBHE, that information is collected and reported by the Illinois Community College Board.

    Salary and benefits information for administrative and instructional employees in Illinois’ 48 public community colleges is available through a searchable database accessible by clicking the following link:

    In addition to reporting by public colleges and universities, the Illinois State Board of Education is required to collect and report salary and benefits information for K-12 teachers and administrators.

    That information is available through a searchable database accessible by clicking the following link:”

    Keep in mind that pensionable income is sometimes / often higher than base salary, depending on the institution and class of employees.

    Detailed benefit information is hard to come by.

    Such information typically has to be obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

  5. Well said Skeptic………..

    But if you want to talk of “Fake outrage” don’t forget Jack Franks he even got on the Main stream news saying how he would cut the funding to the college of DuPage

    I think he was using the old Trick of Rahm Emanuel by leaving no tragedy go unused

  6. Another example of those in “education” giving lip service to prioritizing kids and actual education.

    Schools should be rated like charities in how much ends up in Administration and salaries and what % actually ends up being used to drive quality education in a classroom.

  7. We need to have more unions for private workers and less for public government workers.

    Everyone should pay to social security which private union member do pay social security and taxes even on pension money, but the big perks for teachers, politicians, firefighters and police need to be competitive.

    Remember also that local school boards gave Packard and the COD President this golden parachute.

    If you don’t like some of these things get involved, run for school board, have boards responsible for their financial decisions.

  8. Bill,

    Jack Franks is no longer taken seriously by anyone other than those who “owe” him.

    He is a grandstanding whore and even his supporters know that.

    The press treats him kindly because they agree with his liberal bent, but they too see through his nauseatingly self-promoting, narcissistic, obese behavior.

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