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Another allegation hurled at Lewis & Clark president

Monday, Apr 29, 2019

* Our old pal Brian Brueggemann has been freelancing since the Belleville News-Democrat’s mass layoffs. Here is his latest

A Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm that has a $500,000-per-year, no-bid contract with Lewis & Clark Community College employs a son of the college’s president, Dale Chapman.

But Chapman says the firm does important work for the two-year college, and that his son’s employment there is not a factor in the college’s awarding of the contract.

The son’s LinkedIn page shows he started working for the company in 2008, the same year the college awarded the no-bid contract.

* It would be much easier to believe President Chapman’s claims if he didn’t have a history of these sorts of issues

Until now, the younger Chapman’s work connection to the college has not been publicly reported. But Dale Chapman and his wife, Linda Chapman, who serves as a vice president at the college, have previously drawn criticism for their pay. The Chapmans earn salaries that, combined, top $550,000 annually. Dale Chapman noted, however that his wife holds a doctorate degree from Harvard and that she was hired by a previous president. […]

In 2010, Dale Chapman retired from Lewis & Clark so that he could get access to his pension, then was rehired after two months. He had financial trouble at the time, due in part to a real estate deal that went bad. Chapman said he took a lump-sum payment of “about a million” for his pension. According to the State Universities Retirement System, the lump-sum payout was about $1.8 million.

Chapman in 2010 said he had to start over with his pension after he was rehired, but that he was “probably close” to being eligible for another pension.


Go read the whole thing.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Fav human - Monday, Apr 29, 19 @ 11:21 am:

    Anytime you see the words “no bid”, that’s just begging for problems.

  2. - 47th Ward - Monday, Apr 29, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    What’s the old expression? Something something, hogs get slaughtered?

  3. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 29, 19 @ 11:28 am:

    The self-dealing grifting at Illinois public universities and colleges the last ten years or so has been off the charts.

    Where the heck is the oversight from the boards? You’re there for more than grip-and-grins and free lunches. Dig down into the checkbooks, see where the money is going and ask questions, for crying out loud.

  4. - SaulGoodman - Monday, Apr 29, 19 @ 11:35 am:

    How do I get access to no-bid contracts for a half a million dollars a year?

  5. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 29, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    Randy Dunn sure has been busy over the years with his friends-and-family plan. And the SIU Board thinks pulling the Sgt. Schultz routine is a reasonable explanation to how it all happened.

    These guys make it way difficult for those trying make the case for more money to higher ed.

  6. - Nonbeleiver - Monday, Apr 29, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    More fuel for those who want to demolish start pensions.

    And it makes those of us on state pensions (mine is SURS) quite ill to see this.

  7. - Anonymous - Monday, Apr 29, 19 @ 11:57 am:

    Not defending Chapmans on this but in looking at Mr. Heyen’s past, he fails to grasp certain governmental concepts like paying property taxes.

  8. - Honeybear - Monday, Apr 29, 19 @ 12:24 pm:

    Louis and Clark is a fabulous school so I’m thankful that this obvious grifting doesn’t seem to have had a terrible effect on the school, students, or faculty. ( I have a lot of teacher friends there)
    But this makes me so mad. I’m in the same boat as non-believer. Here I’m busting my but for a meager pension when I retire and this schmuck is milking the system.
    Stop, right now stop.

  9. - SWIL Voter - Monday, Apr 29, 19 @ 12:52 pm:

    What exactly is the allegation? The kid is getting the money? Or the consultant was required to bid? Or that the President is stealing the money?

  10. - SSL - Monday, Apr 29, 19 @ 1:41 pm:

    Or that the kid got the job because his old man got them the $500,000 a year?

  11. - Eagle Eye - Monday, Apr 29, 19 @ 1:54 pm:

    Mr Heyen-it is not Lewis and Clark Junior College. The correct definition is Community College. The title is “Lewis and Clark Community College”. I’m with SWIL”. Just what are you saying? Is there a known benefit involved? Always heard good things about the College, the Chapmans, etc.

  12. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Apr 29, 19 @ 2:04 pm:

    If you see something say something. This isnt just a Homeland Security thing.

    I would love to see some sort of hotline set up wherein citizens can report misdeeds and maybe be rewarded monetarily. Someway, somehow, the system has to be held accountable. The election process should take care of these sort of things, but apparently not.

  13. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Apr 29, 19 @ 2:47 pm:

    The allegation to answer the question above, is it’s a conflict of interest for the Chapmans to have any role in awarding a contract to a firm that employs their son. Or that the hiring of the son was possibly a quid pro quo for the contract. At the very least it should be looked into. Agree with the prior comments that higher ed administrators who plead poverty for their schools while pulling this stuff at the same time do not help the cause.

  14. - don the legend - Monday, Apr 29, 19 @ 3:44 pm:

    ==Chapman said he took a lump-sum payment of “about a million” for his pension. According to the State Universities Retirement System, the lump-sum payout was about $1.8 million==

    It’s my understanding you can quit and take your contributions in a lump sum but the only way you get the employer’s contribution and the investment return is to take the pension itself. Am I wrong?

  15. - Anonanonsir - Monday, Apr 29, 19 @ 6:28 pm:

    Kudos for the reporting.

    ==The self-dealing grifting at Illinois public universities and colleges the last ten years or so has been off the charts.==

    Maybe just keep this headline from four years ago on permanent retainer:

    JB recently:
    “Our university presidents know where efficiencies can be brought and where they’re underfunded,” Pritzker said.

    Maybe reconsider that idea.

  16. - LC Employee - Wednesday, May 1, 19 @ 9:22 am:

    I don’t get it. I have worked at LC for years, and I can tell you I have never met more gifted administrators than the Chapmans. Yes, it seemed weird that two of the administrators were married. But, I have to say they are both incredible at recognizing talent and then giving people the ability to apply it. The student-oriented culture at this school is something different from other schools I have taught for. The faculty and administrator selection process is very rigorous.

    A sad reality in education is that chief executives are selected for their ability to find money. Dale Chapman knows how to find it in spades. That kind of gift costs money in all industries.

    Linda Chapman is an incredibly intelligent woman with a deep compassion for the struggles of students. She is paid well, and she deserves every penny.

    Every attack I see on the Chapmans always mentions that he cashed out his retirement and then when back to work. So what? Who wouldn’t? If you had a legal option to do something like that, then wouldn’t you? He followed and maximized the rules of the system. Good for him.

    That loophole has been fixed. But, if you don’t like the system, then vote out the people who keep it afloat. Our pension system is ridiculous, and we need a constitutional amendment to correct it. Stop voting for people who oppose it.

    Speaking of voting, Dale Chapman doesn’t have complete control of the school. He answers to a board of trustees. For decades, elected board members have chosen repeatedly to hire him - because he is highly effective.

    I’m no fan of no-bid contracts - especially large ones. However, nobody is suggesting his son worked for the company BEFORE the contract was awarded. It’s fair that the issue invites scrutiny. But it’s never about that.

    In the end, the argument is always “Look at all the money the Chapman’s get” and “Isn’t it weird that a husband and wife are both administrators at the same place?” They are made into a symbol of Illinois fiscal problems.

    To the first charge, I say envy is an ugly thing. It’s far more productive to focus on making the best of your own life than the be angry at what others have. This might be different if they were accused of a crime. But they aren’t, and they never have been.

    To the second, I remind you that Dale Chapman didn’t hire Linda Chapman. They were both hired previously. I also remind you that numerous generations of board trustees have overcome the same concern when they saw the Chapmans’ talents.

    I think government should be smaller, and I think higher education is overpriced. But, going after the Chapmans is just a great way of making yourself feel good without doing anything productive.

    When the Chapmans retire (many years from now I can only hope), they will be replaced. But Illinois will still have a pension wreck and college prices will continue to rise.

    Your efforts may be better spent on serious pension reform and tying federal financial aid to education that leads to jobs.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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