In addition to her Kansas University salary, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little receives $209,337 annually from a North Carolina pension plan.
The Raleigh News & Observer reported that Gray-Little receives the second-highest pension payment in North Carolina — one spot ahead of former University of North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith, who receives the third highest.
The top pension benefit goes to former mental health center administrator Charles R. Franklin Jr., who earns a $211,373 annual payment, the newspaper reported.
North Carolina state employees contribute 6 percent of their salary to a pension program, and in return receive compensation after they retire until death. Employers and state and local governments also contribute to the plan.
The benefits are calculated using a formula involving years of service and an employee’s highest average salary during a four-year period.
Gray-Little, 65, worked at UNC for 38 years, rising through the ranks, eventually becoming provost and executive vice chancellor. She was paid $350,000 annually in her last position.
Heather Franco, a North Carolina state treasurer spokeswoman, said out-of-state employment has no bearing on the pension.
As KU’s chancellor, Gray-Little’s annual salary is $425,000. Also, another $25,000 per year is placed in a deferred compensation fund payable upon completion of her tenure as chancellor.
She is also eligible for a retirement program through the Kansas Board of Regents, which includes an 8.5 percent government match on top of an employee’s 5.5 percent salary contribution. The matching funds are capped at a $245,000 salary level, said Madi Vannaman, who oversees the regents’ retirement plan.
And more funds may be headed Gray-Little’s way after she steps down as chancellor. Former KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway will receive his full $340,352 salary as chancellor for the second straight academic year in 2010-11 as part of an agreement with the regents. He remains on the KU faculty and just ended a yearlong sabbatical to write a book.
Kip Peterson, a regents spokesman, said such arrangements are determined on a case-by-case basis at the time of departure.
Gray-Little declined to comment on her pension.
Lynn Bretz, a KU spokeswoman, said it wasn’t unusual for top university administrators such as Gray-Little to be eligible to receive pensions from their former jobs, particularly among those who had worked in politics or in business.