Illinois Chicago campus doled out nearly $100,000 for speakers in five years
The University of Illinois Chicago has spent nearly $100,000 on commencement speakers in the past five years, according to information provided by the school following a recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
The school invited speakers to all 14 of its campus colleges between 2013 and 2017. Track and field legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee earned $12,000, the most of any speaker in the time frame. The campus also covered expenses for some speakers: up to $4,429 in one instance, but typically $1,500 or less.
This year alone, the school has spent $6,700 in speaker fees and more than $4,010 in travel and accommodation costs.
The College of Applied Health Sciences tops the list, paying out $28,000, which included Joyner-Kersee's fee. The School of Public Health has spent $14,000 in fees, plus $1,719 in expenses, while the College of Education and College of Nursing has paid out $10,000 in fees and approximately $5,000 in expenses.
For the most part, the other colleges and schools have avoided speaker fees, except for the College of Medicine and School of Social Work, which have paid $1,200 and $500, respectively, for their one speaker. The College of Medicine has spent more than $6,000 on travel and lodging, while the speaker fee has been the School of Social Work’s sole expense.
The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has spent nearly $4,000 in travel and lodging, the College of Urban Planning nearly $1,100, the Honors college $430 and the College of Business Administration $205.
The colleges of Architecture and Dentistry have spent no money on speakers in the time covered.
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