Dist. 86 hires its first CFO

Hinsdale Township High School District 86 has hired a chief financial officer despite critics' claims the district is already spending too much money for administrator salaries and other expenses not directly tied to education.

William Eagan of Naperville will oversee the district's finances while receiving an annual salary of $175,000.

Eagan is the district's first chief financial officer. He is replacing Jeff Eagan, who exited the post of business manager at the end of last school year. The two men are not related.

The new chief financial officer has worked for the last eight years at Kraft Foods, where he has held various finance and accounting positions. Most recently, he was plant controller. Prior to working at Kraft, he was a senior financial analyst at HSBC and Experian and a financial analyst at Abbott Laboratories.

William Eagan received a bachelor's degree in finance from Northern Illinois University and a master's degree in business from Northwestern University. He also is a Naperville Park District commissioner.

The school board approved his hiring with a 5-0 vote.

"Bill is an experienced finance and accounting professional who will bring a strategic focus to District 86's business office and facilitate timely and accurate insights in the district's short- and long-term fiscal health," Superintendent Bruce Law said.

As chairman of the district's Finance Committee, board member Ed Corcoran has been a proponent of adding the position of chief financial officer that he has said will bring a more corporate approach to the district's finances.

Eagan said he is excited about the opportunity at the district.

"Establishing strong financial planning and reporting protocols will support the district's mission of promoting academic excellence, respect and responsibility throughout our operations," he said.

An $8,000 February audit of the district's finances showed that more oversight and changes in some practices are needed, Corcoran said. The board also voted recently to spend an additional $35,000 on a more in-depth audit that would study human resources/payroll, accounts payable and student activity fund management.

At a March 26 meeting, Hinsdale resident Linda Burke criticized the board's spending policies for purposes such as additional audits and hiring more administrators in the business office.

"The purpose of all this extra auditing is a fishing expedition for something, for anything, that might be used by the present majority to serve an ongoing smear campaign against the previous board," she said.

Corcoran defended the audits.

"The auditors said we have material and significant deficiencies," he said. "That's the same as an F."

amannion@tribune.com