Archive for Thursday, August 19, 2010

KU restructures athletics board; chancellor considering non-university members

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little made the announcement. She said a faculty member would hold the position.

August 19, 2010, 10:11 a.m. Updated August 19, 2010, 5:47 p.m.


— State higher education officials on Thursday agreed with a decision by Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little to remove Athletic Director Lew Perkins as chairman of the Kansas Athletics Corp. Board of Directors.

“I thought it made sense regardless of who the athletic director is,” said Kansas Board of Regents Chairman Gary Sherrer. “Consolidation of power often leads to troublesome issues. This is putting some balance in there,” Sherrer said.

Kansas Board of Regents Vice Chairman Ed McKechnie said the chancellor reports to the regents, and she needs independent information.

“The chancellor is in charge of university athletics. The buck stops with her,” he said.

Gray-Little quietly made the change on the six-member board earlier this month. She informed the regents about it during the regents retreat on Wednesday in Overland Park. The athletic corporation is a non-state organization that operates and manages KU’s sports programs

Gray-Little said she had been in discussions about the structure of several boards.

“I realized that with athletics in particular, the board which is supposed to bring some perspective and point of view that wouldn’t come from staff, was chaired by the athletic director. It seemed the board could be more effective if the chair wasn’t the athletic director,” she said. She said that Perkins agreed with the move.

Athletic departments at both KU and Kansas State University have been under fire.

A ticket scandal rocked KU Athletics earlier this year, and last year an audit raised questions about financial dealings at the KSU athletic department.

Gray-Little said the controversies surrounding the KU athletics operation were “relevant to perceptions,” but she added she would have wanted to make the change regardless of that situation.

Perkins is retiring as athletics director at the end of the academic year. Although he no longer is chairman of the board, he will continue to serve as a member this year. Jerry Bailey, the faculty athletics representative, will serve as chairman at least for this year. Bailey is an associate professor in KU’s School of Education.

The board also includes the provost, student body president, a vice provost and the university’s chief business and financial planning officer.

Gray-Little said she is studying the bylaws of the board and may make some further changes. She said in the long term it may be best to have the provost lead the board.

Regents Chair Sherrer asked Gray-Little and Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz to consider adding members to the athletics boards who are not affiliated with the universities.

Schulz said he didn’t think that was a good idea because outsiders may have trouble keeping certain matters confidential, such as contract negotiations. But Gray-Little said she was considering Sherrer’s proposal.


somebodynew 7 years, 10 months ago

@ knayte - I think that is in reference to the equipment that he either "borrowed" or used or something that was in his house. I think he reported a blackmail from the guy who eventually talked to the media.

smot 7 years, 10 months ago

I think this is probably correct. A smokescreen such as a charge of "blackmail" was most likely thrown out there (by Lew) to direct attention away from the acceptance of this gift and subsequent return of the favor for better seats. This appears to have been a long standing culture inside the KUAC accepted with a nod and a wink.

CHKNLTL 7 years, 10 months ago

Retire? It's about time Lurch! I hope he doesn't get a big-ass pay bonus for leaving! I volunteer to give him a swift boot in the rear as a bonus!

Alabamastreet 7 years, 10 months ago

As an FYI to the LJW, the Board used to be headed by a faculty member. I know because I covered the business side of athletics when I was a student working at the UDK.

cowboy 7 years, 10 months ago

Seems there is a lot of post dating , backtracking , occurring here lately to square up the books by the now self-defined senile AD. The Chancellor steps in and rubber stamps these deceptive practices and declares all well. I'm not a forensic accountant , but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once , and this all smells quite bad.

The only thing I had to see to sour on Big Lew was his arrogant self sitting at a private courtside table at KU Basketball games like " look at me, I'm King" .

Send his rear packiing now.

Danimal 7 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, I've got to agree. When the ticket scandal first broke I wanted to give big Lew (who I'm not a fan of) the benefit of the doubt. Now that we have undeniable proof that Lew has been running KUAC like his personal fiefdom, and everything off the playing field (and arguably on it) is a mess, next summer can't come quickly enough. Lew's brought some great success to our University, but also a lot of negative attention, and apparently quite a few unethical practices. I was a student senator at KU for a year and all the KUAC people we worked with were scum, and treated everyone disrespectfully. I always felt like a I needed a shower after dealing with them.

KEITHMILES05 7 years, 10 months ago

The public is still waiting to see the chancellor is going to take charge of this mess or just pass it off.

Mel Wedermyer 7 years, 10 months ago

Don't stop there, take more away from him....

blindrabbit 7 years, 10 months ago

The diarrhea that is the Athletic Department is still flowing. Hopefully we will get this rectumfied soon.

Jonathan Becker 7 years, 10 months ago

I like this Chancellor. She got backbone. Nice change from the past.

The idea that outsiders cannot keep information confidential is laughable. Just pick the right outsiders. Jack Focht, who investigated the ticket scandal, would be a good start.

Nevertheless 7 years, 10 months ago

Relieving Lew of his position is a great move by the chancellor, but she needs to keep an eye on his replacement. Jerry Bailey has been very close to Lew for years. He is an insider, and insiders aren't the solution, they're the problem.

newmedia 7 years, 10 months ago

Have to agree with KSU's President on this one.

racerx 7 years, 10 months ago

1) Here's one cynic's conspiracy-theory take on the whole matter. They're separating the chairman of the board position and the AD position.....sooooo......Lew can conveniently return to the chairman of the board position after he's officially "retired" as AD.

2) “I thought it made sense regardless of who the athletic director is,” said Kansas Board of Regents Chairman Gary Sherrer. “Consolidation of power often leads to troublesome issues. This is putting some balance in there,” Sherrer said.

Why the heck then did Sherrer sit on his a** for years while Lew was chairman of the board and AD instead of speaking up and rallying the Regents to put a stop to it?

youngjayhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little is the BEST thing to happen to KU in a long time. The lady is impressive - You Go, Girl!

4everahawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Jerry Bailey is in fact a very reputable man with a lot of integrity, but I also have concerns as to why she would place someone from Lew's current administration in the position. That is not to imply in any way that Jerry was involved in anything corrupt, just that he is a close friend of Lew's and his loyalty is with him. Should have chosen another faculty member immediately that has no ties to KAI. Hope she has the grit to clean up this mess.

rgh 7 years, 10 months ago

smart move and couldn't have come at a better time for KU athletics. This is like the run-a-way CEO being the head of the board of trustees or a superintendent being the board of education president. It's still only one vote, but a lot of influence on subordinates.

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