Archive for Saturday, July 24, 2004

Setting the pace

July 24, 2004


Recent salary increases in the Kansas University Athletic Department may spur a chain reaction across the nation.

University and college athletic directors and athletic department staff members throughout the country should be writing "thank you" notes to Kansas University Chancellor Robert Hemenway and Athletic Director Lew Perkins for the salary increases that recently were awarded to members of the KU athletic department staff.

The salary increases may place the KU people among the country's elite in terms of salary/compensation. Perkins is said to have one of the highest, if not the highest base salary of any college or university athletic director in the nation.

These new KU athletic department salaries are sure to be used as a yardstick throughout the country as other athletic directors and staff members seek to salary increases of their own.

It is unfortunate KU cannot be a leader in the Big 12 conference in terms of compensation packages for academic faculty, not just in the area of athletic department pay and benefits. After all, the primary mission of the university is to teach and inspire, and teaching excellence is a major factor in how well KU accomplishes this mission. Good faculty attract good students.

It would be interesting to know the millions of dollars that may be added to the salaries of athletic directors and their staffs around the country as a result of the increases granted at KU.

It's one more example of how the dollar controls college sports these days. Unfortunately, there isn't any corresponding emphasis on the need for increased financial support for the academic side of a university.

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