Illinois deputy governor opposes Wise's proposed $400,000 bonus

By Daily Illini Staff Report

Governor Bruce Rauner’s deputy governor is urging Board of Trustees executives to reject a proposed $400,000 bonus for Chancellor Phyllis Wise. 

“We request that you and the members of the Executive Committee … do not approve the proposed agreement with Dr. Wise,” deputy governor Trey Childress wrote in a letter to Chairman Edward McMillan on Wednesday.

“Our Administration believes the proposed resignation agreement would be a major step in the wrong direction and against the best interest of the Urbana-Champaign campus, the University of Illinois network or the State of Illinois,” Childress wrote.

He wrote a vote not to approve the bonus would “send a clear message that the University of Illinois will protect the reputation and mission of the University.”

The executive committee of the board will meet in Urbana Wednesday to accept Wise’s resignation, vote on a $400,000 bonus and name an interim chancellor.

The executive committee includes McMillian and trustees James Montgomery and Karen Hasara. 

Wise resigned Thursday, citing external factors that she believed led the University away from its mission. On Friday the University released approximately 1,110 pages of emails sent from the personal accounts of University officials, including Wise.

Wise will return to the faculty as a professor in molecular and cellular biology.

The Chicago Tribune reported that former chairman of the board Chris Kennedy also agreed that Wise should not receive a bonus.

Immediate calls to Kennedy, Rauner’s press secretary and Childress were not returned.