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The New Contract Same as the Old Contract for WIU President

Rich Egger
WIU President Jack Thomas

The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees said in June it was working to finalize a new contract with WIU President Jack Thomas. The two sides now have agreed to continue operating under the terms reached when Dr. Thomas was named president seven years ago.

The BoT unanimously agreed to continue with the deal during its August 24, 2018 meeting.

The BoT’s statement about President Thomas’ contract, read by Chairperson Carolyn Ehlert Fuller during the August 24, 2018 BoT meeting.

Tri States Public Radio asked for a copy of the contract and all related documents.  We received a two page document that Thomas signed in May, 2011. You can read it here.

The document shared with TSPR spells out Dr. Thomas’ starting salary and other benefits.  It states he must give a six month notice if he intends to leave. If the Board decides to replace him, it must give a 12 month notice or payment in lieu thereof unless he chooses to join the faculty. 

But the document does not spell out specific goals or expectations for Thomas, even though in early June then-Chairperson Cathy Early said she anticipated the new contract would spell out specific expectations.

TSPR asked current BoT Chairperson Carolyn Ehlert Fuller about Thomas’ performance and goals.

TSPR: Can you cite something specific you’re pleased with that he‘s done in the past year, for example?

Ehlert Fuller: He has managed through extremely difficult times. And that alone is a monumental accomplishment.

TSPR: Are there any goals you have set for him for the next year or specific things you want him to achieve?

Ehlert Fuller: You see them rolling out month by month. There was a July 16th press conference (when the administration’s realignment plan was unveiled), which was the beginning. We have had our board retreat where we talked about many things, which was a public meeting. And today we have had progress reports. You will continue to see this as the months – the weeks roll on. We will have, we may have more board meetings than are regularly scheduled. It remains to be seen.  But you stay tuned.

She also told reporters, “We’re pleased with the way things have turned out.”

Rich is TSPR's News Director.