Easter thanks UI trustees, says he's working with Hogan

Easter thanks UI trustees, says he's working with Hogan

CHICAGO — University of Illinois President-designate Bob Easter today thanked trustees for their "trust" and said he's been working with outgoing President Michael Hogan on the transition to his eventual role as president.

Easter said he and Hogan have collaborated on budget and appropriations matters, personnel evaluations of senior administrators and other issues.

Hogan, who still holds the title of president, did not attend Thursday's board meeting, Easter's first as president-designate. UI spokesman Thomas Hardy said Hogan was attending to a personal family matter.

Hogan will officially step down as president at 5 p.m. July 1, the start of the next fiscal year, which will allow him to collect the second year of his retention bonus from the university as outlined in his June 2010 contract.

He will get $30,000 for his first year in office and $37,500 for his second year, for a total of $67,500, which he can collect on July 1, 2015, according to the revised employment agreement approved by trustees in March. He agreed to forfeit $157,500 he would have received in deferred compensation had he remained president for five years.

He continues to collect his $650,000 annual presidential salary through July 1, when Easter officially takes over.

Hogan will then be paid $285,100 for a year on sabbatical in 2012-13, and plans to return as a professor of history for "an indefinite tenure" on a UI campus of his choosing, according to the revised employment agreement. He will be eligible for annual raises after that.

Easter agreed to a $450,000 salary as president as of July 1; currently his president-designate pay is based on a $250,000 annual salary.

The News-Gazette reported in early May that Hogan has attended a handful of public events since tendering his resignation in March, while Easter has presided at commencement ceremonies, legislative appropriation hearings, the annual Ebertfest opening reception and numerous other public events.

Hogan's resignation followed several months of growing tension with faculty over his attempts to centralize enrollment management for the UI's three campuses and an investigation into anonymous emails reportedly sent by his former chief of staff, Lisa Troyer. Eventually more than 100 notable faculty called for Hogan's resignation. In the days following his resignation, Hogan took some personal time off, according to calendars obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Since March, an informal division of responsibilities has emerged in which both Hogan and Easter attend staff meetings, prepare for the upcoming trustee meetings, review budget and staffing plans and participate in some public events such as the recent Global University Summit in Chicago, Hardy said.

"The last several weeks have truly been a journey of discovery for me," Easter said. "One would think that after 40 years you know the University of Illinois. Every day I discover something new."

UI Board Chairman Chris Kennedy replied, "All of us are thrilled that you're on this side of the table and leading this great university."

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