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Archive for Thursday, June 10, 2010

Alumni, locals react to Perkins’ retirement

June 10, 2010, 4:44 p.m. Updated June 10, 2010, 7:29 p.m.

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Dana Anderson, a major KU booster whose contributions have helped establish the Anderson Family Strength Center and the Anderson Family Football Complex, said that Lew Perkins had mentioned the “concept” of retirement several times during the past year.

Athletic Director Lew Perkins

KU Athletic Director led the Kansas Athletic Department for seven years and retired on Sept. 7, 2010. Look back at his time at KU.

Even so, Anderson said, Thursday’s revelation that Perkins would leave at the end of the upcoming academic year came as somewhat of a surprise.

“I think he’s done an incredibly good job, in many many ways, for the university and for bringing the athletic program to a whole new level — obviously in the revenue we’ve generated, and in some of the things that needed to be done that have been done, like the renovation of Allen Fieldhouse,” Anderson said. “A lot of people said, ‘Oh, it doesn’t need anything.’ But you look at it now and, obviously, it did need it.

“Those people couldn’t see that, and Lew saw that.”

While some people indeed “were rubbed the wrong way” by Perkins and some of his plans, Anderson said, Perkins “by and large deserves a tremendous amount of credit.

“I think we’ve done the right thing with Allen Fieldhouse, and the strength and conditioning center, and the football complex. All those things have helped us. I’m convinced of that. I don’t think we could have attracted the football coach we attracted if we didn’t have those facilities.

“He’s made great progress.”

Larry Sinks, a former downtown T-shirt shop owner whose store closed following a lengthy court battle with Kansas Athletics over trademark infringement issues, declined to comment on Perkins' resignation.

"Believe me, there's a lot I'd like to say, but my settlement with the university won't allow me to say one word," Sinks said.

Jerry Neverve, owner of the downtown Red Lyon Tavern, said he had initially been upset with Perkins and the athletics department after moving the KU-Missouri game outside to Kansas City.

"We were upset because they were taking the one big game a year out of Lawrence and Columbia," Neverve said.

However, once the football team became more successful, and attendance swelled to 40,000 to 50,000 people per game, the loss of downtown revenue was offset.

"Hopefully the new person can continue on that trend," of football success, Neverve said.

Max Falkenstien, who retired in 2006 after 60 years as the voice of the Jayhawks, said he would be sad to see Perkins leave.

“I will hate to see Lew go because I think he has done great things for KU,” Falkenstien said. “The facilities he’s improved are as fine as any in the country. And he really cares about the student-athlete. That’s been his plan his whole time here — even more so perhaps than appeasing alums.”

Falkenstien also said he could understand Perkins’ decision to retire.

“I can understand that, perhaps, at his age he may be ready to retire — after this past few weeks, even this whole year. We have seen some crazy things.”

Drue Jennings, an alumnus who served as KU’s interim athletics director before Perkins was hired, praised Perkins for his fundraising abilities and the improvement of facilities under his watch.

“I think Lew has done a wonderful job for Kansas Athletics,” Jennings said.

Jennings, a KU kingmaker who hired basketball coach Bill Self and was chairman of the search committee that hired Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, said the chancellor was handling the athletics crisis well, and in a “cool and collected” manner.

“It’s a ‘so-far’ for her, because things still have to play out,” Jennings said. “But so far, she has performed exactly as advertised. She’s been extremely cautious, very careful to put her facts together and avoiding making decisions on raw emotions.”

Jennings said it was highly unlikely he would be needed to serve in an interim role again given the time frame stated for Perkins’ retirement.

“I'm glad they’ve allowed themselves enough time to go through that process,” which would likely involve consideration of both internal and external candidates, Jennings said.

William Tsutsui, a KU professor of history and associate liberal arts and sciences dean for international studies, criticized Perkins and the athletics department for an eroded relationship with the school’s faculty and the broader community.

“I hope the next A.D. and our current chancellor really look at the structure of oversight in the athletics program,” Tsutsui said. “There’s a very small group of people at the top.”

As it stands now, he said it is too small of a group, and doesn’t include substantial representation from the faculty or the community as a whole.

Tsutsui, who is leaving KU for a new position at Southern Methodist University, served on Kansas Athletics’ Chancellor’s Advisory Board, which he said “really served as just dressing.”

Though the group would be served lunch, and would get to meet wonderful student-atheletes, if anyone tried to ask tough questions, they would “hit a wall head-on,” Tsutsui said.

The relationship between athletics and academics became strained under Perkins’ tenure, as faculty members complained that academics suffered budget reductions while athletics facilities prospered.

“What I would like is a sense that, really, the faculty have not gotten the attention and respect they deserve,” Tsutsui said.

Comments

TheGreatOz 3 years, 10 months ago

How the flip do you expect one person to save the Big 12?

What was the point of quoting Larry Sinks when all he could say was that he couldn't say anything?

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macon47 3 years, 10 months ago

perkins also did a very good job of what he was hired to do

local yokels that are critical, should work so hard for their bosses instead of posting on line at work all day ha ha ha ha ha

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 10 months ago

Drue Jennings likes the Chancellor but Keegan at the J/W doesn't.

Apparently some of the readers on this forum don't understand that Perkins retiring is not letting him get away with anything. The Chancellor knows what she is doing. What people like Keegan and Dolph don't like is that she won't let them in on her plan.

After all, she can't be too bad, she worked at NC with the former organ prof at KU who became the head of NC. What say about that mr. keegan and dolph. KU coudn't even keep the organ man.

Chancellor Gray's focus is on academics and research. KU has more on it's plate than just basketball and football. Maybe it is time for students to start attending KU for an academic career, even it if is being tainted by the whining professors who claim they don't make enough money.

Perkins is an old man, Keegan is of the entitlement generation, and Dolph and the Chancellor are old. So in the final analysis, what will any of the four leave as a legacy?

making money is certainly not that much of a legacy. Perkins did exactly what most in the coroporate world do. They bail out and give the same old speeech "want to spend more time with my family".

Perkins has the same arrogance that is evident in the military of a soldier who is taller and bigger than others, we called them bullies!

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Gaul 3 years, 10 months ago

Methinks the athletic director thing is a tempest in a teapot boiling over. He'll be gone and the sun will rise again. The university can't survive without good academics and academics can't survive (as part of a world class university) without a vibrant, lucrative sports program. What is really earth shaking is the realignment of the conferences. The rivalries of especially Missouri and Nebraska affect attendance and interest. I assume K-State will always be there.

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br549 3 years, 10 months ago

Let me be the first to throw my hat into the ring for the AD job. Resume:

Third grade education. Voted most likely to gouge.

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kubacker 3 years, 10 months ago

Perkins is really paying a heavy price for his personal corruption, being asleep at the switch on multi-million $$ worth of ticket sales felonies, his do-nothing approach to the conference realignment and his monumental embarrassment of KU:

(a) A $600K retention bonus for still being on the job and not having been fired by June 30, 2010.

(b) Plus another $4million+ in annual compensation by getting to keep his job another 16 months.

(c) Plus he gets to retire and receive whatever enormous retirement package, final severance bonuses, etc. he negotiated for himself with KU's idiot administrators.

(d) Plus he gets to bail out of a dead/dying conference and be free to take another ultra high paying position, possibly even one competing directly against the interests of KU.

Journal World - please publish the terms of his retirement/severance package. We want to know the terms of that sweetheart golden parachute.

Bottom line - Perkins couldn't possibly have put himself in any better position than he is now by announcing his retirement (effective 16 months from now) and Grey-Little letting him get away with it! Unbelievable!!

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kubacker 3 years, 10 months ago

Perkins is really paying a heavy price for his enormous embarrassment to KU brought about by his personal corruption, being asleep at the switch on multi-million $$ worth of ticket sales felonies and his do-nothing approach to the conference realignment:

(a) A $600K retention bonus for still being on the job and not having been fired by June 30, 2010.

(b) Plus another $4million+ in annual compensation by getting to keep his job another 16 months.

(c) Plus he gets to retire and receive whatever enormous retirement package, final severance bonuses, etc. he negotiated for himself with KU's idiot administrators.

(d) Plus he gets to bail out of a dead/dying conference and be free to take another ultra high paying position, possibly even one competing directly against the interests of KU.

Journal World - please publish the terms of his retirement/severance package. We want to know the terms of that sweetheart golden parachute.

Bottom line - Perkins couldn't possibly have put himself in any better position than he is now by announcing his retirement (effective 16 months from now) and Grey-Little letting him get away with it! Unbelievable!!

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Victor Dawson 3 years, 10 months ago

Thanks Lew for taking the criticism that comes with a pain in the a** job! You did the job that you were hired to do and you did it well. Best wishes to you and your wonderful family.

Fan #1

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macon47 3 years, 10 months ago

the rest of the university suffered only because no one wants to donate money to the history or art department

or at least no one with money wants to donate to the non athletic portion of ku

now what does that tell you?

perhaps the art and history grads dont have things like jobs, or money , or are at least too cheap to donate to ku academia

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Beelzebub 3 years, 10 months ago

$4 million in salary and perks in 2009, $2 million retention bonus, $600 thousand bonus for staying around to collect it....the ticket scam which happened on his watch...free stuff from companies his department does business with...meanwhile academic departments have had their budgets cut, positions have been cut, blah, blah blah. This is totally screwed up. This one guy has become a multi-millionaire while the rest of the university has to do without. And just what is the benefit that the university gets from big time collegiate athletics? I thought their mission was to educate people. Okay so here's the lesson: education is bunk, kids, the real way to get ahead is to become a part of an organization whose main purpose is entertainment and generating piles of money for people in that organization. "Proud of their academic and athletic achievement..." Bulls--t.

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macon47 3 years, 10 months ago

with everyone gushing about how wonderful lew is,, it reminds me of The Emperor's New Clothes” by Hans Christian Andersen

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kujayhawk7476 3 years, 10 months ago

Sour grapes, professor Tsutsui. Why in the world was an opinion solicited from an academician who is leaving the university? He obviously has no loyalty to KU. Neither do some of you. Instead of criticizing, why not open your seldom used checkbooks and donate to the Williams Fund or the Endowment Association?

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parrotuya 3 years, 10 months ago

Good Riddance! I only hope he does some time in the pokey before he retires an easy life of golf.

DOWn, baby, DOWn!

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ibroke 3 years, 10 months ago

I just hope Lew can find enough cash to live on when he retires

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Pilgrim2 3 years, 10 months ago

The relationship between athletics and academics became strained under Perkins’ tenure, as faculty members complained that academics suffered budget reductions while athletics facilities prospered.

“What I would like is a sense that, really, the faculty have not gotten the attention and respect they deserve,” Tsutsui said.


Well, boo-freakin'-hoo, William. Since academic funds and athletic department funds come from two completely difference sources, you're whining about something that has nothing to do with Lew Perkins or any other athletic director. Get yourself a fund-raiser for academics as good as Perkins has been for athletics. If you want to point fingers at who is responsible for the disparity, make sure you do it in a room full of mirrors.

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KU_cynic 3 years, 10 months ago

Bill Tsutsui is dead-on right. And his implicit recommendation to expand effective governance and oversight to KUAC, I predict, will be ignored.

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JackRipper 3 years, 10 months ago

jonhitch, I wonder though, who is the biggest scam artist-Perkins or the guy who hired him? The incredible desire to sell KU out from under the eyes of the very fans who supposedly "bleed crimson and blue" are the ones who should spend some quiet time contemplating what the hell happened. This all came about because the fans wanted it and had a chancellor who thought if it meant money that could be added to the PR crap then he was ready to do it. The fans should be happy with themselves because this all was noted before all this and those who noted it were scoffed as gym class flunkies. I guess when the typical KU fan can only resort to that it is easy to understand why not only did they not support it but enthusiastically accepted their seats being taken by people who could have easily sat in the bad weather in the days things weren't so good and decided that people's worthiness is decided by how much money they have. This is a university with alumni like that?

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JackRipper 3 years, 10 months ago

Yes Dana, you name will live forever at KU on the monstrosities crapped out on the Campanile Hill but suppose Mr Big Shot trying to be part of a sporting franchise could care less. Fly in on the jet and leave and Lawrence lives with it.

One eye, right on the mark again and being one of those people who never had a problem just going to the games, no need for side shows and other distractions, who cares how corporate everything feels now. Explain what "improvements" in facilities did a dog gone thing for KU? Did they not win the Orange Bowl before they had the bunker and grazing fields, didn't Mangino practice more times in the stadium then on the grazing fields, didn't the basketball team win the final 4 before the sideshows? Are some of you people really fans of the game or just here for the show?

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jonhitch 3 years, 10 months ago

Long may the ghost of Lew remember all those VERY LOYAL Alumni he sent packing in the name of the almighty BUCK $$$. As reported today, many of those big cigar donors did not make good on their pledges, but I bet they got their tickets in place of the loyal alumni.

Crooks like this must be related to someone named Madoff. Good???? Not really.

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Ceee 3 years, 10 months ago

How exactly did our AD earn his huge salary this past year? Being so well connected, did Lou see the Big 12 split coming? Did Lou succeed in heading it off? Did he even try to head it off? Did he make contingency plans? What are they?

Tell us, Lou. What's the deal? I would think you'd relish changing the subject from internal affairs. But then, the disintegration of the Big 12 isn't a happy story either.

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 10 months ago

The Chancellor is quietly "cleaning house" It is after all, a bit just after spring!

It's hard to believe that in the whole United States only Lew Perkins could fix the fieldhouse? Pulllllllllleeeeezzzz.

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 10 months ago

The Chancellor is quietly "cleaning house" It is after all, a bit just after spring!

It's hard to believe that in the whole United States only Lew Perkins could fix the fieldhouse? Pulllllllllleeeeezzzz.

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edjayhawk 3 years, 10 months ago

We can only hope that Jim Marchiony is promoted so we can continue the stellar performance in fundraising.

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BruceWayne 3 years, 10 months ago

I CANNOT understand why the LJW did not get an opinion form Compton. Everyone knows he runs the show at KU.

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Dirtman24 3 years, 10 months ago

with him announcing his retirement now and all this that has come his way, ticket scandal ect. ect. ect. makes me think he is trying to hide something IMO... Something sounds very FISHY

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LJ Whirled 3 years, 10 months ago

Good grief! The guy sold the soul of KU for short-term personal gains, and apparently has been asleep at the switch as the conference realignment fiasco built up without his notice.

Get him out of town. Sooner is better.

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