Bipartisan Bill that Requires Training for Appointed College and University Trustees Sails through IL House

Appointed members of governing boards of public universities and colleges would have to complete a minimum of four hours of professional development and leadership training thanks to legislation sponsored in the Illinois House by State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard).

SB 2174 passed the House on Tuesday and was filed as a direct response to financial abuses that occurred at the Glen Ellyn-based College of DuPage (COD), which is located in Breen’s 48th House District. “The level of incompetence shown by the former board majority at COD was shocking,” said Breen. “Their behavior truly called into question their ability to make sound decisions on behalf of the school and its students.”

Through SB 2174, appointed board members will have to show proof of taking the training within two years of beginning their service and within every two years of service thereafter. The Illinois Board of Higher Education will oversee the training mandate, and topics to be covered will include:
  • public university and labor law
  • contract law
  • ethics
  • sexual violence on campus
  • financial oversight and accountability
  • audits, and fiduciary responsibilities of a member of a governing board 
School web sites will be required to maintain a current list of the names of all voting members who have successfully completed the training. If a board member has not completed training, their ability to serve will be suspended until the training is complete. If within an additional 45 days the training is not done, they will be forced to resign their seat.

“Here in DuPage County we learned through an unfortunate series of events how important it is to have qualified and educated people making decisions on behalf of our institutions of higher learning the students who attend those schools,” said Breen. “It was my privilege to carry this important legislation in the House.”

The bill will now be forwarded to the Governor for his signature.