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Cunningham higher education reform package becomes law

cunningham ag edSPRINGFIELD – After learning about an outlandish severance package given to an outgoing community college president by a lame duck board of trustees, Senate Bill Cunningham knew something had to change.

Cunningham proposed a package of reforms that was signed into law today, making the hiring and firing process of college administrators more transparent and fair to both taxpayers and students.

The package includes a proposal that would require community college boards and university boards partake in a minimum of four hours of professional development training that ranges from labor laws to ethics training.

“We need to protect taxpayers and tuition payers,” Cunningham said. “Tuition is on the rise in part because of abuse in the hiring and firing of chief administrators of our state universities and community colleges.”

Another proposal in the package would ban a lame duck community college board from approving a new contract with less than 45 days left before the next election.

Senator Cunningham represents portions of Worth, Orland and Palos Townships in the southwest suburbs and the neighborhoods of Mt. Greenwood, Beverly, Morgan Park and Auburn-Gresham in Chicago. 

Senator Bill Cunningham

 Cunningham2014

18th Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture; Appropriations II; Gaming; Higher Education (Vice Chairperson); Labor; Telecommunications and Information Technology (Chairperson); Transportation.

Biography: Served in the House from 2011-13; full-time state legislator and lifelong resident of the southwest Chicago area; born July 21, 1967; graduate of Saint Barnabas Grammar School (1981), Mount Carmel High School (1985) and the University of Illinois Chicago (1990); former advisor to Cook CountySheriff Mike Sheahan and former chief of staff to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart; youth soccer coach; parent representative on the Sutherland Local School Council; lives in Beverly with wife, Juliana, and two daughters, Madeline and Olivia.