Illinois House of Representatives recognizes JWCC Ag Center Illinois House of Representatives recognized the John Wood Community College Agriculture Center along with the University of Illinois and the Orr Research Farm on 40 years. John Wood Community College has a partnership with the U of I and the Orr …

Illinois House of Representatives recognizes JWCC Ag Center

UPDATED: Killeen on tap for second $100,000 performance bonus

URBANA — University of Illinois President Tim Killeen is slated for a second performance bonus of $100,000 for meeting goals outlined by UI trustees.

Killeen earns $600,000 annually, with the possibility of up to $100,000 in annual performance incentives based on predetermined goals set by the board. He received the full $100,000 in September 2016 after his first year in office.

The agenda for Thursday’s Board of Trustees meeting in Chicago includes a “pay-for-performance” compensation item authorizing $100,000 for Killeen this year, to be paid within 90 days.

In past years trustees haven’t released the amount until after meeting in closed session the day of the board meeting.

The board decided several years ago to tie a portion of the president’s total pay to performance based on mutually agreed-upon goals. Former UI President Robert Easter received three, ranging from $90,000 to $180,000.

Killeen’s initial contract also included a $225,000 retention bonus if he remained president for five years, but that provision was dropped at Killeen’s request in 2015 following the public flap over former Chancellor Phyllis’ Wise potential $400,000 retention bonus. Killeen said that he didn’t need a bonus to stay at Illinois and that retention incentives reward longevity, not performance.

Killeen completed his second full year as president in May.

In the past year he navigated an ongoing state budget crisis that cost the university hundreds of millions of dollars, hired Robert Jones as chancellor of the Urbana campus, reorganized and filled two vice presidents’ positions, forged new partnerships in Chicago and abroad, and helped launch a campaign to raise $3.1 billion for the UI’s three campuses.

He also saw two now-former UI employees implicated in a state patronage scheme dating back to their days as aides to former Gov. Pat Quinn.

In a written evaluation released Friday, trustees gave Killeen high marks for hiring “excellent leaders” and for being a “relentless advocate” for the UI system at the state and national levels.

They cited his collaborative efforts with other Illinois universities and community colleges; his strong advocacy for state and federal funding; and his commitment to keep tuition flat while increasing enrollment for Illinois undergraduates.

Killeen’s plan for a five-year funding commitment from the state tied to specific performance benchmarks by the UI — dubbed IPAC, or the “Investment, Performance and Accountability Commitment” — was judged to be “creative and innovative” and of benefit to higher education throughout the state.

Trustees also said Killeen made “admirable progress” on the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students and faculty and increased opportunity for minority vendors. But they cautioned that progress is needed in terms of campus climate and diversity, a “top priority.”

Killeen also earned praise for outreach efforts, including a new CEO group to help promote the UI’s “brand” and mutually beneficial projects, and a new UI Health Advisory Board.

Thursday’s agenda also includes $75,000 in pay-for-performance compensation for UI Chicago Chancellor Michael Amiridis, along with a provision to incorporate the pay into his base salary. He would thereafter not be eligible for further performance bonuses.

Amiridis received a $75,000 performance bonus last year, and his current salary is $400,000 annually.

UI officials say “pay-for-performance” is a common practice in the corporate world and increasingly with university leaders. Trustees have said the extra pay is not a bonus but is earned.

UI employees received raises averaging 1 percent for this academic year, following a 2 percent mid-year raise last winter, but those did not apply to Killeen.

UPDATED: Killeen on tap for second $100,000 performance bonus

Higher education specialization, pension make future uncertain

Higher education specialization, pension make future uncertain



Richard Wandling, chair of the political science department, talked about Eastern’s future with hope. “We’ve had some bumps and bruises over the past two years, … but I’m optomistic,” Wandling said.

Richard Wandling, chair of the political science department, talked about Eastern’s future with hope. “We’ve had some bumps and bruises over the past two years, … but I’m optomistic,” Wandling said.

Richard Wandling, chair of the political science department, talked about Eastern’s future with hope. “We’ve had some bumps and bruises over the past two years, … but I’m optomistic,” Wandling said.

Brooke Schwartz, Administration Reporter
November 1, 2017
Filed under News, Online

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Illinois’ lack of funding, specifically for higher education and pensions, was dissected in Wednesday’s “Higher Education, Pensions and Politics” panel.

One audience member said in the past, higher education was seen as a social good, while now the perception has changed to define it as a personal good, which might be why funding has been lowered in the past couple of years.

With higher education being seen as a public good, it leads the state and federal governments to underfund programs, which raises tuition and makes a college degree harder to achieve.

The possibility of consolidating universities to avoid redundancy or to increase specialization was also discussed.

With campuses being limited to specific majors, diversity in interests would begin to disappear at universities.

Richard Wandling, chair for the political science department and one of the two panelists, said this specialization would make it harder for students to change their major and limit exploration.

Although the panel agreed that things are not very hopeful right now, Wandling said Eastern should stay positive about it’s future.

“I’m optimistic,” Wandling said. “If we have some stability in our budget, we will find our way. There’s always a need for institutions like EIU, because we serve many first generation students, we provide a lot more access to faculty, to retention, to student welfare and so I think if anything needs to happen is that faculty, students, staff, community members can be vigilant and taking that message to legislators.”

Madeleine Doubek, director of policy and civic engagement for the Better Government Association and another panelist, said she thought local government was apathetic towards the effects of the past two years on higher education.

“I don’t think that (Governor Bruce Rauner) lost a lot of sleep over what happened during the two year impasse,” Doubek said.

Madeleine Doubek, director of policy and civic engagement for the Better Government Association, was one of the two panelists at Wednesday’s discussion. She said that people need to listen, pay attention, and play an active role in their government.


The panel also discussed the growing concerns with underfunded pensions and the improbability of improvement in the near future.

According to USA Today’s article Illinois pension problem: Illinois’ pension plan is between $130-250 billion dollars under funded. 

This level of under-funding could cause problems for future generations, as there might not be any money left for pensions by the time Eastern students, and younger generations, need to use it.

One reason improvement is difficult is Illinois citizens believe they are being taxed enough, Doubek said.

“Take what just happened with the sales tax revolution and repeal in Cook County and I certainly think there’s a sentiment out there that we’re taxed enough in Illinois,” she said. “I think it would be very difficult to increase a tax to contribute more towards pensions.”

Doubek said Illinois’ problems with funding pensions and higher education is part of a bigger problem nationwide.

“In my view, Illinois is a microcosm of what is happening at the federal level,” she said. “In other words, nothing is happening at the federal level and I don’t see that changing.”

The main way to stand up for pensions, higher education or other matters that are important to you is to pay attention and speak up, Doubek said.

“We need to be very vigilant and pay attention to what’s happening … all the time,” she said.


Brooke Schwartz can be reached at

581-2812 or

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Higher education specialization, pension make future uncertain

State Budget Forum to be hosted at SIU Carbondale

(Source: KFVS)(Source: KFVS)

Several organizations are coming together to host a State Budget Forum on Thursday Oct. 26.

WSIU Public Radio, has partnered with NPR Illinois/WUIS Springfield and AARP Illinois to host the forum from 6-7:30 p.m.

The event will take place at the SIU Carbondale Student Center, Ballroom B, located at 1255 Lincoln Drive in Carbondale. Refreshments will be served beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The forum will take a look at the two-year long state budget impasse, its impact on the Southern Illinois community and the financial future of Illinois. 

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions of a panel of experts, share how they have been impacted, or to simply listen and learn.

News Editor and Operations Manager for NPR Illinois, Sean Crawford, will serve as moderator.

Here are a list of the panel guests:

  • Brent Clark, Director of the Illinois Association of School Administrators
  • Sherrie Crabb, Director of Family Counseling Center, Inc.
  • Marleen Shepherd, Communications Director for the Sparrow Coalition
  • Connie Favreau, Director of Project Development at Shawnee Health Service
  • Jak Tichenor, Interim Director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at SIUC

This event is free and open to the public. Guest are encouraged to register online at Questions about the event should be directed to the WSIU Radio newsroom at (618) 453-6101.

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State Budget Forum to be hosted at SIU Carbondale