Archive for Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Nagging issues

January 21, 2004


To the editor:

Over the past months, it has become more and more difficult to ignore the questions raised by the compensation being paid to the new executives at Kansas University's athletic department. The possibility, suggested in recent Journal-World articles, that compensation for the new athletic director may be "in seven figures" has caused me to wonder whether at that level of pay the university search committee considered the possibility of interest in the position by someone like David Wittig, if not Mr. Wittig himself.

Similarly noticeable have been:

  • CEO Lew Perkins' apparent comfort with nepotism issues in the hiring of his son-in-law to fill a highly paid and important university position. (The technical/legal distinctions between the university and the athletic department are, to me, ethically and morally irrelevant in this situation.)
  • Mr. Perkins' reported payment of "performance bonuses" to himself and his subordinates in the department's football subsidiary (which reported a net loss -- six wins/seven losses); and
  • The across-the-board six-figure salaries being paid to Mr. Perkins' VPs, as well as similar compensation for the top officers and many of their subordinates in some of the subsidiaries in the athletic department (Nasdaq: KUAD).

Perhaps the search committee also overlooked the possibility of also hiring some of the other former Westar whizzes.

Fred Lovitch,


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