The paychecks may have been labeled incorrectly and sent to another city, Lawrence's postmaster said.
The checks were in the mail. Unfortunately for some Kansas University staff and faculty members, their paychecks from the state may have been mailed to the wrong Kansas city.
An undetermined number of KU faculty and staffers did not receive their paychecks on time late last week, possibly because of a mislabeled batch of mail sent by the state.
Lawrence postmaster Bill Reynolds said he received word of the problem Monday morning from the state's administrative offices in Topeka.
"A tray of checks that was going to another city had been improperly labeled to go to Lawrence," Reynolds said.
He was only told of one mislabeled group of checks, but Reynolds said it was possible the checks meant for Lawrence were, in turn, given the other city's labels. He did not directly identify the city, indicating only that it was nearby, and not outside the state.
"It's just unfortunate that we didn't hear about that until this morning," Reynolds said.
Phone calls Monday afternoon to the state's payroll services office in Topeka were not returned.
Of the 4,100 faculty and staff members at KU, 443 receive traditional checks through the mail. The rest of KU's faculty and staff take advantage of the state's electronic, direct-deposit option.
Another 4,100 campus employees are students, all of whom are paid either through direct deposit or directly by the individual departments.
"The majority of KU workers were not affected," said Kathryn Clark, news and public issues coordinator for university relations.
It was unclear how many of those who get their checks through the mail had received them Monday. Generally, the Lawrence post office branches reported they were caught up with the traditionally heavy weekend load.
KU's checks apparently were sent out Thursday as scheduled, which would normally put them in Lawrence on Friday or Saturday.
"It would be a rare fluke that would cause it to be more of a delay than that," Reynolds said. "We're trying to find out what that problem was and see if it's been corrected yet."
Quality-control personnel at the regional Kansas City, Mo., post office and in other cities were looking into the mix-up.
Reynolds suggested KU employees with a paycheck mailing concern could contact the Lawrence post office, 843-1681.