UI chancellor named to Busey board

CHAMPAIGN — University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise has been appointed to First Busey Corp.'s board of directors, the company reported in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Wise, who has been chancellor of the UI's Urbana-Champaign campus since 2011, is entitled to receive a base retainer of $20,000 a year as a First Busey director. She is also entitled to a grant of restricted stock.

She has not yet been appointed to any First Busey board committees, service on which could boost her compensation.

First Busey is the holding company for Champaign-based Busey Bank, which has offices in central Illinois, Indianapolis and southwest Florida.

Wise — who would be the only woman on First Busey's board — is also a member of Nike Inc.'s board of directors, having served since 2009. According to a proxy statement filed by Nike last summer, Wise received a $60,000 annual retainer fee for serving on its board.

Her total compensation from Nike during fiscal 2012 was $237,889 — including $83,005 in fees earned or paid in cash, $139,560 in option awards and $15,324 in other compensation.

Nike said she was chosen for her extensive experience in medical science, health, higher education and societal issues.

As UI chancellor, Wise, 67, oversees a campus with more than 42,000 students, more than 1,800 tenure-track faculty and an annual budget of $1.5 billion with more than $400 million in research expenditures.

Wise holds faculty positions in several UI colleges, and her research focuses on issues concerning women's health and gender-based biology.

Her salary as chancellor and UI vice president is $500,000 a year, plus she'll receive $100,000 for each year if she stays for five years.

First Busey expanded its board size from 10 to 11 directors on Jan. 1. Wise's term, which began that day, will run until the company's annual meeting this year, at which point she could be nominated for and elected to another term.

Other members of the First Busey board include:

— First Busey Chairman Gregory B. Lykins.

— First Busey President and CEO Van A. Dukeman.

— August C. Meyer Jr., chairman of Midwest Television.

— Joseph M. Ambrose, president and CEO of Horizon Hobby.

— David J. Downey, president of The Downey Group.

— Stephen V. King, founding partner of Prairie Capital.

— E. Phillips Knox, attorney with the Urbana law firm of Tummelson, Bryan & Knox.

— V.B. Leister Jr., chairman of Carter's Furniture.

— George T. Shapland, president of Shapland Management Co.

— Thomas G. Sloan, CEO of Sloan Implement Co.

Downey and Shapland also serve on the board of The News-Gazette Inc.

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Bulldogmojo wrote on January 03, 2014 at 3:01 pm

For $500,000++ a year I think this University is entitled to her undivided attention to fix the issues we have! Her Chancellor position is not intended as something to kill time between various corporate board appointments for purposes of lining her pockets further.

If she doesn't want to engage her efforts here full time then she should resign.

bluegrass wrote on January 03, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Bulldogmojo, I couldn't agree more.

kiel wrote on January 04, 2014 at 6:01 pm

I must agree. Those of us on 9-month contracts must justify our activities during months for which we are not even paid. Perhaps that $500K job is also just a 9-month contract.... I think I'm going to reconsider busting my butt 12 months a year and start actively seeking some outside gigs, you know, to forge deeper ties between the U and private industry, etc., etc., etc.

Lostinspace wrote on January 03, 2014 at 6:01 pm

In one corner, we have the administration, doing whatever they do; then there is the sports corner, doing what they do; the research faculty does what it does; finally, the teaching faculty, dealing with the undergraduates (you know, the ones who pay the bills), doing the best it can with little support, coordination or oversight.  Little or no communication among the corners, each in its own vacuum.

And, in Chicago, a board which seems to have nothing to do with anything. 

tuscola2 wrote on January 04, 2014 at 9:01 am

Defund the U of I. Pat Quinn and the other big spenders ought to take note. This is not a full time job.

Lostinspace wrote on January 05, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Meanwhile, she tells members of the university "family" to stay home because of the snow:

"Unless your function is critical, you should not report to work this
afternoon, tonight or tomorrow (Monday). Employees who do not work must
use personal time (vacation, floating holiday, accrued comp time) or take
an excused, unpaid absence," she wrote.

Stay home, but take a hit.  This applies not to the faculty but to the peons who keep the place running.  One could vomit.

C-U Townie wrote on January 08, 2014 at 11:01 pm

What exactly has SHE done since acquiring her position? Other than ride the coat tails of her predecessors? Those in lower positions, as mentioned above, have to justify their actions? Why do we not know what this woman is working on from week to week, month to month? Why is there not transparency? I realize the chancellor is not the selling point for a university, but let's hope she's not a detractor by being preoccupied with other obligations. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 10, 2014 at 1:01 pm

The U of I does not always bother to follow state policy.  State employees are required to answer whether they sit on boards, consult, work part-time, or do any other activity that would conflict with their state employment.  Any outside of employment activity as such requires approval from the appropriate management level.  That would be the U of I Board of Trustees, or the Governor.  It would be interesting to know if such approval was sought, and granted.  However, it is the U of I which does not always follow state policy.