UPDATED: Killeen on tap for second $100,000 performance bonus

UPDATED: Killeen on tap for second $100,000 performance bonus

URBANA — University of Illinois President Tim Killeen is slated for a second performance bonus of $100,000 for meeting goals outlined by UI trustees.

Killeen earns $600,000 annually, with the possibility of up to $100,000 in annual performance incentives based on goals set by the board. He received the full $100,000 in September 2016 after his first year in office.

The agenda for Thursday's board of trustees meeting in Chicago includes a "pay-for-performance" compensation item authorizing $100,000 for Killeen this year, to be paid within 90 days.

In past years, trustees haven't released the amount until after meeting in closed session the day of the board meeting.

The board decided several years ago to tie a portion of the president's total pay to performance based on mutually agreed-upon goals. Former UI President Robert Easter received three, ranging between $90,000 and $180,000.

Killeen's initial contract also included a $225,000 retention bonus if he remained president for five years, but that provision was dropped at Killeen's request in 2015 following the public flap over former Chancellor Phyllis' Wise potential $400,000 retention bonus. Killeen said that he didn't need a bonus to stay at Illinois and that retention incentives reward longevity, not performance.

Killeen’s total compensation — which would remain at $700,000 if this year’s bonus is approved — puts him in the bottom third among Big Ten university leaders, said UI spokesman Tom Hardy.

Among other university systems, the UI president is behind his peers at Rutgers and Maryland and ahead of Nebraska and Wisconsin, Hardy said. Compared with leaders of Big Ten campuses that also have regional campus oversight, Killeen is behind Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana and Purdue, he said.

Hardy said trustees evaluated the president in closed session at the September board meeting. Killeen completed his second full year as president in May.

In the past year he navigated an ongoing state budget crisis that cost the university hundreds of millions of dollars, hired Robert Jones as chancellor of the Urbana campus, reorganized and filled two vice presidents' positions, forged new partnerships in Chicago and abroad, and helped launch a campaign to raise $3.1 billion for the UI's three campuses.

He also saw two now-former UI employees implicated in a state patronage scheme dating back to their days as aides to former Gov. Pat Quinn.

In a written evaluation released Friday, trustees gave Killeen high marks for hiring “excellent leaders” and for being a “relentless advocate” for the UI system at the state and national levels.

They cited his collaborative efforts with other Illinois universities and community colleges; his strong advocacy for state and federal funding; and his commitment to keep tuition flat while increasing enrollment for Illinois undergraduates.

Killeen’s plan for a five-year funding commitment from the state tied to specific performance benchmarks by the UI — dubbed IPAC, or the “Investment, Performance and Accountability Commitment” — was judged to be “creative and innovative” and of benefit to higher education throughout the state.

Trustees also said Killeen made “admirable progress” on the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students and faculty and increased opportunity for minority vendors. But they cautioned that progress is needed in terms of campus climate and diversity, a “top priority.”

Killeen also earned praise for outreach efforts, including a new CEO group to help promote the UI’s “brand” and mutually beneficial projects, and a new UI Health Advisory Board.

Thursday’s agenda also includes $75,000 in pay-for-performance compensation for UI Chicago Chancellor Michael Amiridis, along with a provision to incorporate the pay into his base salary. He would thereafter not be eligible for further performance bonuses.

Amiridis received a $75,000 performance bonus last year, and his current salary is $400,000 annually.

The change would give Amiridis comparable terms to Jones and UI Springfield Chancellor Susan Koch, who don’t have provisions for performances bonuses in their contracts. Jones earns $649,000 annually.

UI officials say "pay-for-performance" is a common practice in the corporate world and increasingly with university leaders. Trustees have said the extra pay is not a bonus but is earned.

UI employees received raises averaging 1 percent for this academic year, following a 2 percent mid-year raise last winter, but those did not apply to Killeen.

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