A report from Illinois lawmakers has found that state university and community college presidents have enjoyed lavish perks, some worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, that aren't always disclosed to taxpayers.
According to a copy of the report obtained by the Chicago Tribune, some of those perks include a two-thousand dollar "communications" allowance for former SIU Carbondale Chancellor Rita Cheng.
SIU President Randy Dunn says the report raises important issues, and that governing boards across the state will likely use the information to guide administrators to better practices.
"I think it goes in the right places, it asks the right questions, it looks at the appropriate things. And I think you're going to see all of us ready to work toward a solution in dealing with some of these issues."
In addition, the report highlights a $32,000 housing allowance for the president of Harper College, a $450,000 retention bonus for a former University of Illinois at Chicago chancellor and $30,000 toward two retirement plans in addition to state pension contributions for the Elgin Community College president.
A special Senate panel investigated the benefits as the state deals with a budget crisis and outcry over tuition costs. The panel plans to push several reforms, including audits and severance pay restrictions.