Illinois State can teach taxpayers where real tuition problem lies, policy group says
Illinois State University paid former President Timothy Flanagan nearly $700,000 in fiscal year 2014, a good illustration of how high administrative costs lead to high pension costs and increased tuition in Illinois’ higher education system, according the Illinois Policy Institute.
Flanagan resigned in March 2014 following an incident for which he was later found guilty of disorderly conduct, according to the Bloomington Pantagraph. The institute said he still received a base pay of $350,004, as well as additional compensation of $344,158, making him the second highest-paid state university chief executive that year.
The institute's report, by Vice President of Policy Ted Dabrowski and policy analyst John Klingner, contends that more administrative employees, higher administrative employee salaries and skyrocketing pension costs have contributed to tuition increases that push higher education out of the reach of low-income students. State funding is not the issue, they argue.
The number of Illinois university administrators grew by 31.1 percent from 2004 to 2010, and those university employees who receive full pension benefits will see their annual pension grow by 3 percent each year thanks to a cost of living adjustment. One State University Retirement System (SURS) pensioner from Illinois State University will receive an estimated lifetime payment of just over $3 million, the institute said.
The university’s average tuition and fees costs grew by more than 93 percent between 2006 and 2016, to $13,666 from $7,091.