Archive for Saturday, July 23, 1994

Gene Budig timelines at KU, American League

July 23, 1994


The following are timelines of Gene Budig's careers as Kansas University's chancellor (1981-1994) and as American League president (1994-2000).


  • Nebraska native Gene Budig, 42, president of West Virginia University, is hired March 20 as KU's 14th chancellor. He was WVU's president from 1977 to 1981 and headed Illinois State University from 1973 to 1977.
    * After taking office, Budig sets off on a tour of Kansas' 105 counties. He pledges to raise KU faculty salaries, increase private support for KU and produce more Rhodes scholars.


  • To avoid financial disaster at KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., Budig orders staff layoffs, a hiring freeze and delays in supply purchases.

* The Legislature instructs KU to cut its Lawrence campus budget by $3.1 million. "Without question, the University of Kansas is being hurt," Budig says.

* On June 2, Kathryn Budig is born. She's the second child born to a sitting chancellor this century. "She has Gene wrapped right around her little finger," her mother, Gretchen, says. The Budigs have two teen-age children, Mary Frances and Chris.


  • Budig is cited in a national survey as the fifth most frequent author of articles in the 14 highest-ranked education journals from 1976-81.

* In December, the KU football team is placed on two years' probation and banned from TV and bowl appearances for a year.


  • Budig welcomes enrollment growth at KU, saying it provides flexibility to strengthen academic programs. Unfortunately, it's the start of an enrollment boom at KU that leads to budget problems, course scheduling woes and attempts to discourage enrollment.

* The chancellor returns in October from a visit to Japan. "It's great. It's great. Over there, I'm a tall person," he says.


  • In June, Budig votes for harsh NCAA penalties for universities caught violating recruiting rules. It allows for a "death penalty" for athletic programs breaking rules twice within a five-year period.

* Budig rejects a faculty governance call for KU Endowment Association divestment of companies doing business in South Africa. Although he opposes apartheid, Budig declines to speak at an anti-apartheid campus rally.


  • In July, Budig is promoted to major general in the Air National Guard, the highest rank in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He retires from military service in 1992 after 30 years in uniform.

* Over Budig's public protests, his salary is raised to $101,000. He's the first state university official to receive an annual salary higher than $100,000.


  • Gov. Mike Hayden orders Budig to cut $5.1 million from the KU and KU Medical Center budgets. After much hand-wringing, the Legislature restores the money.

* In November, by a slim majority -- about 52 percent -- KU faculty and staff vote against forming a union. Budig says failure of the union effort improves chances of better appropriations from the Legislature.


  • In March, 4,500 people protest outside Hoch Auditorium while 2,300 sit inside at a free speech forum featuring two Ku Klux Klan members. The klansmen were to appear on a campus radio show, but the program is canceled due to protests from local black ministers.
  • Danny Manning leads KU to the NCAA basketball championship. Because of recruiting violations, the basketball program is placed on probation for three years in October.
  • KU officially kicks off Campaign Kansas in May with announcement of the largest gift in KU history. It is $10 million for construction of the Lied Center, a performing arts hall on West Campus.
  • Budig is named to the executive committee of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges and to the board of directors of the American Council on Education.


  • The Legislature pleases state university faculty by allocating nearly $15 million for the first year of the Margin of Excellence. Gov. Mike Hayden signs the bill on KU's campus. The goal is to raise faculty salaries to the level of "peer" universities within three years. That objective is never reached.
  • The Budigs donate $25,000 to Campaign Kansas for honorary professorships and teaching awards. The chancellor had also initiated additional gifts totaling $63,000. The KU Endowment Association won't reveal his career donation total to KU.
  • In December, Budig joins the board of directors of the National Merit Scholarship Corp.


  • Budig, a candidate for many higher education jobs during the years, withdraws from consideration as a finalist for president of the University of Nebraska system. He's a native of McCook, Neb., and an NU graduate.

* In September, students and faculty protest KU policy regarding Research Officers Training Corps. Budig rejects a call to stop counting ROTC credit toward members' graduation requirements. Critics want to protest the U.S. Defense Department's ban on gays and lesbians in the military because KU policy forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation.

* Budig is appointed as the Big Eight's representative on the powerful NCAA Presidents Commission, serving two years.


  • In March, Budig fires anthropology professor Dorothy Willner. She's the first tenured faculty member in KU history to be dismissed after a public disciplinary hearing.

* KU's Student Senate ousts student body president Darren Fulcher in September. The action follows reports he was arrested for misdemeanor battery in an incident involving a woman prior to the election.

  • One month later the American Civil Liberties Union went public with sexual harassment complaints against two KU law faculty.
  • In November, KU's affirmative action director, James Turner, resigns after news stories quote him using derogatory terms to describe Native Americans and homosexuals.


  • The KU football team sets in motion a sports first. KU becomes the first school to win a football bowl game, go to the Final Four in basketball and send a baseball team to the College World Series in the same academic year -- 1992-93.
  • Budig joins the executive committee of the Association of American Universities and the board of trustees of American College Testing, which provides college entrance exams.

* Rumors Dr. Bobby Brown, president of major league baseball's American League, will retire spark speculation Budig might replace Brown. Brown surprises everyone by keeping the job another two years.

* A book edited by Budig, "A Higher Education Map for the 1990s," is published. It includes essays from 13 contributors about challenges facing higher education.

* A controversial review of KU's academic and non-academic programs results in Budig's decision to eliminate 17 degrees and transfer four academic departments.

* In October, the KU Endowment Association says Campaign Kansas raised $265 million in five years. That's the equivalent of $1 bills stacked 41 miles high.

  • In fall 1992 semester, KU's enrollment reaches a record 29,161. Enrollment dropped slightly last fall at KU.


  • In June, Budig is named to a five-member board responsible for overseeing the sale of the Kansas City Royals baseball team for owner Ewing Kauffman. After Kauffman's death in August, Budig joins the Kauffman Foundation, which supports youth development and education.

* After an eight-month public hearing, KU law professor Emil Tonkovich is fired by Budig for alleged sexual harassment of students. His appeal is pending before the Kansas Board of Regents.

* U.S. News and World Report ranks KU 27th among U.S. public universities, and Money magazine says KU is the 15th best educational value for schools its type.


  • In February, KU revises its 6-month-old ban on faculty-student dating. Under the new policy, faculty members are only prohibited from dating students over which they have an evaluative role.
  • The Legislature rejects the "Partnership for Excellence" plan hatched by Budig, which would have used a major increase in tuition rates to raise faculty salaries to the level of "peer" universities in other states.

* In April, the New York Times reports Budig will win the recommendation of a search committee looking for the next American League president.

* Budig turns 55 on May 25.

* On June 8, AL owners vote in Cincinnati to make Budig the league's top executive.

* July 29, Budig's last official working day as chancellor.

(The following timeline information is from THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY)

June 8, 1994: American League owners elect Gene Budig as league president, replacing Bobby Brown.

October 11, 1996: The Yankees win Game 3 by a score of 5-2, after AL President Gene Budig denies Baltimore's protest of Game 2. NY scores 4 runs in the 8th inning in another come-from-behind win.

May 8, 1997: 9th Against the Royals in the 6th inning, the Yankees catch Jay Bell in a rundown when Bell is suddenly called out by umpire Dale Ford, who thinks he passed the preceding baserunner, Jose Offerman. Offerman, however, had been forced out at 3B. Royals' manager Bob Boone argues until the umps agree and put runners back at 2B and 3B and call for a resumption of play. Chili Davis then lines a 2-run single off Kenny Rogers to tie the score. The Royals win 7--5 in 12 innings, with the victory going to Randy Veres. The Yanks protest that the rundown play should not have been reversed. Gene Budig will dismiss the protest, stating that with the rundown there were several scenarios where Bell could have escaped a tag.

June 1, 1999: American League President Gene Budig interviews Jaret Wright regarding the Cleveland starter's proclivity for hitting batters. Wright has hit batters in the head twice this season precipitating a brawl each time and a fine and suspension for himself. The right-hander maintains that he's not aiming to hit batters but only to move them off the plate.

June 2, 1999: American League president Gene Budig meets with Indians P Jaret Wright to discuss head-hunting accusations, due to pitches he has thrown near the heads of Boston's Darren Lewis and Detroit's Tony Clark, which have precipitated fights this season.

January 6, 2000: Gene Budig resigns as American League president and is appointed a senior adviser to baseball commissioner Bud Selig. The American and National leagues will be disbanded as legal entities later this month, with their functions consolidated in the commissioner's office.


  • CNN-SI reports that Budig, 63, who is teaching at Princeton University in New Jersey, is the leading candidate being considered to take over as president of the NCAA.
  • In August, Budig and his wife, Gretchen, donated money to the KU Endowment Association to establish the university's first professorship in special education. The gift will be combined with money previously donated by the Budigs and money donated in honor of Budig when he left KU in 1994 to fund the professorship.

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