Regents to vote on salary increase

By Dina Paluzzi

Board of Regents members will vote on salary increases of “about 17 percent” for NIU President John LaTourette and Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves at Thursday’s open meeting.e

Regents Chairman Carol Burns said the issue was discussed during executive session at the Regents’ July meeting, but would not say if an official or unofficial vote had been taken. “I’ve said too much already,” she said.

When asked if an official or unofficial vote was taken during the executive session of the July meeting, ISU Student Regent Dan Wagner said, “I can’t say.”

Wagner said the proposed salary increase would make the salaries equal to Illinois State University President Thomas Wallace’s salary. Before Wallace was hired, the Regents had to offer a salary that would attract applicants for the job last year, he said. As a result, salaries for LaTourette and Groves are less than Wallace’s salary, he added.

LaTourette, Groves and Wallace were unavailable for comment Tuesday.

Wallace will not be considered for a salary increase Thursday because his salary was established when he was hired, Burns said.

A review was conducted of LaTourette’s and Groves’ job performances. Burns said the salary increase and the reviews are related.

Sangamon State University President Durward Long, who is on a 60-day medical leave of absence, has not been reviewed because he is in an alcohol treatment program in Florida, she said. The Regents will not consider an increase for SSU’s interim president, Frank Matsler, Burns said.

Wagner said one problem is that the Regents have to make a decision at a time when state support for higher education is low.

NIU Student Association President Paula Radtke said she does not support a salary increase. “The university is suffering.” Some people cannot have a “smoother ride” than others, she said.

Burns said, “Everyone else (university faculty and administrators) received a salary increase. I don’t see any reason to exclude them (the chief executive officers.)”