Archive for Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hemenway’s compensation package to include $340,352 per year, plus sports tickets

In a press conference in December, Chancellor Robert Hemenway announced he would step down from his post effective June 30, 2009.

In a press conference in December, Chancellor Robert Hemenway announced he would step down from his post effective June 30, 2009.

August 27, 2009, 7:22 p.m. Updated August 27, 2009, 8:15 p.m.


Chancellor still in the money

Former KU chancellor Robert Hemenway will continue to make his chancellor's salary for the next two academic years. The compensation plan was revealed in a memo from the Kansas Board of Regents. Enlarge video

Former Kansas University Chancellor Robert Hemenway will earn $340,352 per year during the next two academic years, and will get other fringe benefits, according to a memo from the Kansas Board of Regents.

Hemenway, who is on a one-year sabbatical until June 30, also will receive reimbursement for moving costs, a graduate research assistant to support his book project, office space and secretarial support in the Hall Center for the Humanities, and four tickets to KU Athletics events for the next two years.

The monetary value of season football tickets in 2009 is $300 for each season ticket, and the highest-priced men’s basketball seats are valued at $1,255 per season ticket. No mention is made in the memo of where Hemenway’s seats would be.

Hemenway’s salary is equal to the salary he earned as chancellor, though the amount of his salary taken from public funds was reduced from $267,177 to $120,000. The remainder of the salary will be paid by the KU Endowment Association.

The memo states that his teaching load for the 2010-11 academic year will be limited to one course per semester.

Lynn Bretz, a KU spokeswoman, said that Hemenway’s pay was appropriate as a contract for services to KU, and that Hemenway would be serving as a full professor of English. He has announced plans to write a book on intercollegiate athletics and to teach.

“It’s a compensation package,” Bretz said. “And he’s earned every penny of it.”

The memo also contained information about former Kansas State University President Jon Wefald and Pittsburg State University President Tom Bryant. They will make $255,298 and $202,593 next year, respectively.

Both Wefald and Bryant received similar fringe benefits. For example, Bryant received two tickets to athletic and university events, and Wefald received eight tickets to Kansas State athletic events. Each also received office space and reimbursement for moving costs.

Jill Docking, chairwoman of the Board of Regents, said the regents set the salaries comparable or below other CEOs nationally. None have had a sabbatical or break during their tenures, she said, and they remain committed to fundraising, teaching and scholarly work at their schools.

Reached Thursday evening, Hemenway said he had no comment on the agreement with the regents.

“I appreciate their support, and I look forward to serving the University of Kansas,” he said.


Brendan Lawrence 8 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, and what, they raised how much money the chancellor could get paid as well, right? Isn't she making over 400K a year? Plus that Actually, I just got fired from KU. Breaking their tardy policies, go fig. That was in the KU Dining section. Kind of funny. Making all these cuts to their employees. One meal for a ten hour shift, instead of two, and this in a dining hall. More expensive health insurance, being shorthanded because it takes three to six months for them to hire someone, 2 percent raises. But, yet, new basketball courts, hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation...and that's just to the Chancellor. Ah well, at least their helping out the T.

LogicMan 8 years, 9 months ago

OK, I'm confused by this story.

Let's say I'm a shoe salesman who starts at $30,000 per year. I work my way up to department manager ($60,000), then ultimately CEO of the company ($300,000).

Now I decide to step down from being CEO, and return to my previous job as department manager. Wouldn't my pay be reduced to something similar to what I was earning at that level?

Shane Garrett 8 years, 9 months ago

Brendan. You should know that it is good to be King. Serfs always get the stocks. In other words It is better to be the Chancellor than a dishwasher in dining services. Perhaps R. H. prepared his life a little better than thou. I am sure you have seen TV where they state that a college education pays you a million more dollars over a life time. (unless you are Bill Gates.)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 9 months ago

"“It’s a compensation package,” Bretz said. “And he’s earned every penny of it.”"

Wasn't he already getting paid for whatever it is that he was previously doing?

Why not just call this the (at least) $500,000 gift that it is. We've all become quite aware that CEO's gets showered with such gifts when they leave (no matter how good a job they did.) That's because those sitting on the boards OKaying these things know that that CEO will be sitting on a board for them someday, and they want him to return the favor.

There's a story opportunity for you, JW. Find out what boards Hemenway is sitting on, and check out the compensation packages he OK's for the top execs.

Godot 8 years, 9 months ago

Will someone please inform Hemenway that we are broke? Too bad, so sad.

Godot 8 years, 9 months ago

I believe in outcomes based compensation for University chancellors. Where was KU in national standings when Hemmenway assumed the helm at KU vs where is it now? I think the citizens of Kansas are due a refund.

budwhysir 8 years, 9 months ago

Yes what a great concept to teach our upper education students. Work your way into greed, then step down and you can get a heck of a deal. At some point the university may find itself in the likes of General Motors, I can tell you that I wouldnt pay a dime to go to a university that spends this kind of money on nothing

nverlost 8 years, 9 months ago

Bozo : "There's a story opportunity for you, JW. Find out what boards Hemenway is sitting on, and check out the compensation packages he OK's for the top execs"

Excellent point and not a bad idea.

laika 8 years, 9 months ago

I'm not Hemmenway's biggest fan, but there is an important part of this story that seems to be overlooked in many comments here. The state is only paying Hemmenway $120,000 now, which I'd bet is about average for a tenured full professor. The rest of his compensation is coming from KU Endowment, which is free to do what it wants with its money. Of course, it'd be nice if Hemmenway would take a pay cut and allow the University to keep some people and programs it lost recently. As for the tickets, pure benefit, although again distributed by the Athletics Department.

gl0ck0wn3r 8 years, 9 months ago

Hemenway has been an unmitigated disaster for KU.

Lori Nation 8 years, 9 months ago

I hope our children will never ever consider going to KU!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 9 months ago

"The rest of his compensation is coming from KU Endowment, which is free to do what it wants with its money."

Don't donors get tax deductions? If so, then taxpayers are picking up at least a portion of anything that the Endowment Assoc. funds, including this academic version of a golden parachute.

amill65 8 years, 9 months ago

Agree with rdragon reply to edjayhawk:

Yes it may be pennies to what CEO's of private companies make, but that is with profits from a private company, not from the taxes that we pay. Also with cutbacks to programs, layoffs, this pay package is unbelievable.

janie_rutherford 8 years, 9 months ago

Amazing! $120,000 for teaching one course. Can't wait for the Regents to complain to the Legislature about their funding AGAIN!

booze_buds_03 8 years, 9 months ago

This happens at every University. If you say I won't let my kids consider KU, well guess what this type of thing happens everywhere. Hell Pitt St. president gets over $200K.

bd 8 years, 9 months ago

It is a real shame when the classified workers(janitors,etc...) at KU are working for poverty wages and did not get a raise this year and he gets this!!!!


Something is wrong with all of this !!!!!

Danielle Brunin 8 years, 9 months ago

"The remainder of the salary will be paid by KU Endowment."

I am grateful to the Endowment for the several loans that I received during college. However, I recently asked them for a forbearance and I got a letter back saying that while I could lower my payments, they couldn't afford a forbearance because they depend on loans to be paid back because they don't receive federal funds. This is why they couldn't give me a break for three months? Un-frickin believable!

beawolf 8 years, 9 months ago

"I hope our children will never ever consider going to KU!!"

As this is a common severance deal at almost all universities for someone who has reached Hemenway's status, I guess your kids aren't going to college. They can stay in Lawrence and make ignorant comments on the LJW web site.

beawolf 8 years, 9 months ago

So many self righteous fools and not enough time to respond.

onrywmn 8 years, 9 months ago


You read this article, and then scroll down to the latest stories, and the first one reads, "Kansans eligible for additional jobless benefits".


BigPrune 8 years, 9 months ago

If he wasn't related to Ernest, he wouldn't be getting squat!

ridethefence 8 years, 9 months ago

Most compensation packages are based on performance, Correct? I don't remember getting a raise this year as KU Staff!! Where is all this money coming from?

Alycat 8 years, 9 months ago

@BigPrune -

Please tell me you're kidding. It's not even spelled the same!!

On a similar note, I don't think that a post in which Hemenway's name is not spelled correctly should be taken seriously. It's not that hard. It's in bold at the top of the page.

@janie_rutherford - $120,000 for a tenured professor with his experience is not at all unreasonable. Please consider that just 'teaching one class' a semester is just the tip of the iceberg when considering his responsibilities. Tenured professors are also expected to do University service and research, and since he's in the humanities in which government-funded research is essentially non-existent, the writing of his book will likely fulfill that requirement. We're already talking about 50+ hours of work a week here!

Julie Jacob 8 years, 9 months ago

This is exactly why the City AND the County should look into a stepped earnings tax. Stepped from 0.25% to 3% depending on the wages.

lancer817 8 years, 9 months ago

KU employees were denied even a small cost of living increase this year due to the budget crisis. Wouldn't this money have been better spent on giving employees (some of which make less than $10 an hour) a minimal 2% increase?

lee66049 8 years, 9 months ago

I think he should pay $15,000.00 for the basketball tickets for sure. LOL So lets get this straight, a family that puts four kids through the university on a shoe string budget has to pay a fortune to sit in the rafters at Allen field house, but a retiree gets four free tickets. Perhaps KU should reexamine their priorities.

hyperdi 8 years, 9 months ago

Exactly how much of that money has he given to KU? Has anyone ever researched that? I think we are all anxious to know the answer. Time to start forkin' it out Bob! Your university staff needs a raise!

Kat Christian 8 years, 9 months ago

Now this crap make me sick to my spirit. Why does anybody need that much money for doing a job? They wonder why they are always needing more money for to run the program. Its always more, more, more. There needs to be a cap on salaries. This is ridiculous.

friendlyjhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

Don't feel like such a friendly jhawk when I see this bonus package. Seems like he could have been treated fairly without so many extras on top. Does every KU employee (and that's all he really was) who retires (probably with more years of service) get treated that well when they retire? I would sure like a grad assistance assigned to me to help with my moneymaking project. Remember this is the man that brought Lew Perkins to KU and priced athletics out of many pockets.

Maddy Griffin 8 years, 9 months ago

Looks like he'll be part of the upper 2% that has the privilege of paying for the public option of the health care bil. Medicare for everyone!!

LawrenceBoy 8 years, 9 months ago

Kansans and KU Faculty and Staff, in particular should be outraged by Hemenway's long tenure and his job performance. They should hold Hemenway, the Regents, the Governor, and Hemenway's immediate staff responsible. Like most large corporations the foundations of success are found with the rank and file employees. Hemenway did very little to support these employees and shore up the foundation of KU. The fact that he was not replaced a long time ago should give us some pause about the efficacy of the Regent's review process.

skinny 8 years, 9 months ago

See how important getting an education is!

Just think, if you go to school, you can make the big bucks. You can even get free healthcare when you have a good job!! Imagine that.

justthefacts 8 years, 9 months ago

To summarize most of the above comments - The way to fix the whole problem is (1) the government should tax everyone (except you) out of their entire pay check - no wait, no one should get paid for working; the government owns it all; (2) the government should pay everyone the same amount of money to do their jobs; no paychecks, just take care of us; (3) being late for a job etc. should never get you fired, the government takes care of us all; (4) not being able to pay back loans should never be a problem b/c the government owns and runs everything, so there will be no need for loans; and (5) long live Communist/Socialist America - we can live like kings and prove that China, Russia and Cuba just didn't know how to run a true communal living arrangement!

Anyone of you who want to do what it takes to get a job like Chancellor would get a similar payment from their employer, in any state of the union. So get that education. Get that work done at other universities. And then go get that job for yourself! Then see how everyone is jealous of you!

Jealousy (class jealousy) is such an ugly thing.

Cait McKnelly 8 years, 9 months ago

There are a number of things that disturb me about this. In an economic climate where we can't even afford to bus our children to school (but can still afford to build million dollar sports facilities), the average grade school teacher makes less than 40k a year, class sizes are doubling and even janitorial staff is getting laid off this man is handed a half million dollar "compensation package" for doing nothing more than making KU a professional sports arena and keeping the rest of the college from burning down. He gets 340k+ per year for two years while the rest of the rat pack gets $5,000 Kemper Awards for being honestly good professors. Yes I am mixing apples and oranges here to some extent. The state portion of this payoff (errr bonus) to get him the hell out is coming from the Regents budget while what's going on with our secondary schools comes from the Education budget but they both point to the serious need for more legislative oversight of both budgets and more oversight of how school districts AND the Regents and the state supported colleges are spending the money they are being handed. I value education highly, for myself and my children, and I think education and the real educators are the ones coming off the short end of the stick here.

KU_cynic 8 years, 9 months ago

A few years ago the KU Hospital CEO was forced out in a turf fight with KU Med Center chief Barbara (no, her hair is not on fire) Atkinson. Hemenway and other KU leaders were then outvoted by the rest of the KU Hospital Board, which approved a severance package for the departing KU Hospital's CEO.

I'm sure Bob appreciates his deal . . .

Steve Miller 8 years, 9 months ago

They are just taking care of him,. what value does he add to the college ? Oneof the good old boys syndrom.

volunteer 8 years, 9 months ago

"Welcome, party animals." Disaster indeed.

beawolf 8 years, 9 months ago

Justthefacts said,

"Anyone of you who want to do what it takes to get a job like Chancellor would get a similar payment from their employer, in any state of the union. So get that education. Get that work done at other universities. And then go get that job for yourself!"

This pretty much sums it up. After you get your BA, masters and PhD, teach in a university environment for 30 years, working your way up the ladder until you become a chancellor, write a book, and then devote 15 years to making KU one of the more respected universities in the country......then you can intelligently argue his compensation value.

CLARKKENT 8 years, 9 months ago

DOES HE GET ONE OF THE $15,000.00 FRONT ROW TICKETS?????????????

DaLioness 8 years, 9 months ago

Gee. Yet another reason I refuse to send money to the KU Endowment when they ask. And ask. And ask!!! Like I didn't spend enough years teaching as a GTA, with no tuition reimbursement (in those days), for slave wages. AND pay tuition for 12 hours of "Doctoral Dissertation" for semester after semester, with virtually no input from my advisor. Sheesh! Like many of us, I've supported KU enough. Let Hemenway write his nice little book, and then go away. Far away!

George_Braziller 8 years, 9 months ago

One more reason why as a KU grad I will NEVER give a penny to the endowment association -- other than the one penny I did attach with some tape and mailed back with the last one they sent to me in 1991. Never got another phone call or mailing again.

wagenseil 8 years, 9 months ago

Hemenway was very good for the university during the first half of his time here, but about five years ago something snapped and he has been a complete disaster ever since. How long it will take the place to recover is anyone's guess, but the number senior administrators who have left for other institutions during those years would suggest that those on the inside have concluded "A long time, and a lot of work." I wish the best for the new chancellor, but she has a really tough road ahead.

The only bit of justice in this is that after letting the athletic programs have completely free rein, they only give him four tickets for two years. Sums up their "what have you done for me lately?" mentality perfectly.

BlackVelvet 8 years, 9 months ago

"Govenment workers are well taken care of wether they work or not."

Uh, excuse me?? I was a "government worker" for 32 years. My retirement is 50% of what I made when I was working. I don't consider myself to be "well taken care of". Not even close.

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