Archive for Friday, May 25, 2001

Struggling ship?

May 25, 2001


To the editor:

The May 18 Journal-World carried a story of the creation of a new position at Kansas University, executive vice chancellor for university relations. It was stated by Chancellor Hemenway that this position "is part of an overall reorganization and reprioritization of the university's external relations" and "will usher in a new era in public outreach and public relations."

The individual hired to fill this position, according to the Journal-World article, certainly appears to be an accomplished individual in the political arena. The need to create a new administrative position, outside the tenure process, at the annual rate of $195,000, with mandated fringe benefits exceeding $250,000, $85,000 out of Endowment, is evidence that the current administration is demonstrably incapable of doing what many perceive to be the administration's job.

Classified personnel are barely paid a living wage. Academic chairpersons, at least in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, have been told they have 3 percent to use for MERIT only faculty salary increases. The Endowment Association could not help support popular student-athletic programs.

Our legislators were neither creative nor visionary in dealing with educational funding. But putting greater financial demands on them does not spread the mission of the university. Finding ways to accomplish this with the personnel at hand would accomplish more, would be less expensive and less insulting to those who pay the bills and would allow more dollars to maintain a quality faculty and supporting staff. It might encourage alumni and taxpayers to believe that their FLAGSHIP university has not already run aground.

Phyllis G. Tiffany,


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