Package of new laws targets corruption in higher education

In response to the College of DuPage administrative scandal that resulted in the firing of school President Robert Breuder in 2015, a package of legislation addressing waste, fraud, and abuse in higher education was signed into law July 29 by Gov. Rauner.


Senate Bill 2155 requires that as part of a community college’s recognition process by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), a review of compliance with state and federal laws regarding employment contracts and compensation must be conducted. An advisory committee, formed by the ICCB, will then review the findings and make recommendations for changes or additions to the laws or review procedures.


Senate Bill 2157 requires that all trustees elected or appointed to a community college board must complete training that covers ethics, financial oversight, audits, contract law, community college law, labor law, open meetings law, and freedom of information law.


Senate Bill 2158 establishes a blackout period where community college districts and boards cannot enter into employment contracts beginning 45 days before local elections and lasting until the first meeting of the new community college board of trustees.


Senate Bill 2159 requires contracts with community colleges and universities to be agreed to in open meetings.


In 2015, an investigation found former College of DuPage President Breuder spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer and donor dollars on lavish perks, participated in prohibited political activity, mismanaged college and foundation funds, and noncompetitive contracts were handed out based on clout, among other abuses.


These new laws will take effect January 1.

Chapin Rose

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