Rauner puts end to large severance packages

Kelly Wynne, News Editor

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After College of DuPage’s statewide controversy, Governor Bruce Rauner has signed into law a bill prohibiting college presidents from collecting large severance packages. This comes after COD President Robert Breuder was assured a $762,000 severance package for promising to retire on May 31, 2016. The new law became effective immediately when signed on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

The severance bill passed unanimously in the Illinois House of Representatives. It is formed with taxpayers in mind.

In short, the law details that college presidents cannot be given more than one year’s salary and benefits, and that contracts for these presidents must be limited to four years at a time. This immediately flags Breuder’s package, as his yearly salary is around $495,000.

Rauner also signed a measure on Sept. 10 stating all future severance agreements funded by public dollars must be compliant with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

Breuder is in the process of being fired from his position as college president. As of now, Breuder’s severance package is up for discussion by the COD board of trustees. The board has already voided his contract, meaning that the deals previously made have no hold on their future decisions.

Chairwoman Kathy Hamilton and Trustees Frank Napolitano, Deanne Mazzochi and Charles Bernstein are expected to vote against the severance package. The four have already revoked part of the package, promising Breuder’s name to adorn the colleges Homeland Security Education Center. Instead, the building will be named after Medal of Honor Recipient Robert J. Miller.

Amendments to Breuder’s severance package as well as termination proceedings will be continuous over the next few months.

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