Archive for Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Kansas higher education officials say faculty, staff need pay raises

October 20, 2010, 11:46 a.m. Updated October 20, 2010, 2:12 p.m.


— Leaders of Kansas' public universities said Wednesday they are going to start pushing for funding for salary increases for faculty and staff on their campuses.

Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said salaries for faculty and most staff have been frozen for two years, and employees are looking at a possible third straight year of no pay increase.

"This is a serious situation," Gray-Little said during a meeting of the Council of Presidents of the Kansas Board of Regents. "What we need to do is make a case and then talk about possible sources," of funding, she said.

Some KU employee salaries have increased as part of a state plan to raise the pay of people who have been paid far below market value, officials said.

Presidents of the five other regents institutions agreed that a plan needs to be mapped out to help get the salary increases.

Fort Hays State University President Ed Hammond said higher education leaders should set up a meeting with the next governor after the Nov. 2 election and discuss this issue with him. "We feel we owe our faculty and staff something," he said.

Because of budget problems, state funding to higher education has been cut approximately $100 million during the past two years, taking the state's portion of funding back to 2006 levels.

With the current funding crunch, Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz talked about possibly pushing for one-time bonuses for faculty and staff.

The leaders also discussed whether they should link tuition increase proposals to increasing salaries.

Several said it's tough to keep and recruit faculty and staff with salaries frozen.


parrothead8 7 years, 5 months ago

It would be great if they started at the bottom with those pay raises.

Tammy Copp-Barta 7 years, 5 months ago

However .. when they say "staff" .. they usually mean Unclassifed staff ... NOT the staff that keep the lights on and do all the manual work. There are to types of staff at KU - so these headlines are usually misleading. We'll see where this all falls out .. but usually it starts at the top and trickles down as you know .. with the ones making the most money getting the biggest raises .. :( ...

MyName 7 years, 5 months ago

Most likely whoever pays for tuition unless the state increases its funding.

volunteer 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes, an English teacher at KU sat at the large round table I was sitting at and complained that for two years she has received no pay increase. This is while we were enjoying a $65 wine dinner at The Eldridge.

Good luck in getting governor Sam to sympathize. He might suggest, as he did for the k-12 group, that a certain percentage of the university budget reach the classrooms. Boy, that would irritate the Provost for Diversity....

MyName 7 years, 5 months ago

KU may be better off if they did that (this is debatable), but the real question is would the people of Kansas be better off? I think the answer is "no".

Shardwurm 7 years, 5 months ago

Raise tuition!

Does the Education Industry ever grow weary of asking for more? This is the same old song we're hearing from Primary through University-level educators.

How about this? You don't like what you're doing? You don't think you're getting paid enough? Quit. Start a new career. Go pay $80,000 to re-educate yourself and join the real workforce.

Educators have such an over-inflated sense of importance that it makes those of us working and paying their salaries want to barf. For years the Education Industry has waged a campaign against the American public to convince us that the world would stop turning if we didn't pay them more.

It appears that more and more of us are waking up to the fact that this is all a bunch of brain-washing for the purpose of filling their pockets. All the while smiling and telling us that a degree in Sociology is worth the mortgage-level debt associated with receiving it.

It's a bigger scam than a ponzi scheme, and I for one am sick of it. Tuition has increased 400 percent above inflation since 1980. Wish they would explain that one to me.

MyName 7 years, 5 months ago

1) The number of people wanting to go to University has also increased by a substantial amount, and the only way most Universities have to get money to expand and meet this demand (since the state support has dropped during that period) is through tuition increases.

2) That "400%" is mostly in private tuition. Public tuition has increased, but then the amount they get from the state has decreased. Additionally, Universities don't actually compete with each other upon cost (beyond the obvious "State vs. Private vs. Ivy League), but rather through the services they offer. Students want more services and have been consistently willing to pay more to gain those services.

3) If you don't think a degree in Sociology is worth it, don't get one, but don't complain about the debt levels when the cuts in the state budgets have been coming from the universities. You used to be able to work your way through college without debt, but increased costs and decreased state budgets have pretty much driven that away.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 5 months ago

and yet, KU thinks we have to add degree programs in: Womyn; gender and sexuality studies!
that was in LJW just two days ago. I sometimes wonder if the electronics at the ljworld server ever look at each other and shrug their silicon shoulders over the strange doings of us wacky umanoids.

and under those comments, KU-cynic points out that KU was just ringing its collective hands and speaking publicly about possibly cutting nursig, math, and science programs.

third year without an incease? these people can take a second job, write a book, take odd work editing, tutoring, etc., or heck they could even earn money driving a bus.

for the second time according to the CPI there has been no inflation, so no increase in the various Social Security administered entitlements. many of these people cannot engineer their own increase in income.
besides, profs at KU are supposed to be the smartest among us? all they can come up with during this economic difficulty is "gimme more?" while most of america does with less?

oh yeh, they [liberals] mostly voted for Obama whose economic ignorance, and destructive policy choices, have deepened and worsened our economic troubles!

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 5 months ago

Jealous much?

You should have worked harder in school and paid attention and achieved in your studies and in your life.

You, too, could have been a university professor instead of a tea bagger.

My guess is that you f'ed off in school and took the easy road, and now you are disappointed with your situation in life.

This can't be your fault. Someone else must be to blame for your mediocrity.

guesswho 7 years, 5 months ago

Well, the state has decreased the funding substantially over the last 30 years. In 1985 the state supported 49 percent. Today it is 24%. KU has had to cut due to unfunded mandates and more state budget cuts.

These may not be in direct line with tuition increase but try and employ some critical thinking. After all, that it was a liberal education is for.

Ricky_Vaughn 7 years, 5 months ago

Isn't it funny they failed to mention the need to slash their own salaries (Kansas higher education officials).

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 5 months ago

"What in the hey do these 'distinguished' demanding government workers produce anyway?" A helluva lot more than Lew Perkins., Gill Turner and Bill Self. KU is supposed to be a "learning institution". Instead it's a sports franchise. What's ironic is that none of the money goes to the university. It's harsh when you have state of the art athletic facilities while the rest of the infrastructure crumbles into dust.

Bob Forer 7 years, 5 months ago

No pay raises in two years!!!!!! Cry me a River. Most professors enjoy long summer and Christmas vacations, nine hours of teaching a week--which means if you are experienced and lazy, you can get by with around 20 hours of work per week--decent benefits, and a relaxed life style. Most folks haven't had a raise in more than two years, and with little to no inflation I hardly feel sorry for them. We are living in terrible financial times. Deal with it!!!

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 5 months ago

You are describing faculty in the humanities and social "sciences". Do not include in this group faculty in engineering and the natural sciences who run active research programs and spend 60+ hours a week at their job.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 5 months ago

Well, my guess is on average the university pays one about $75k for nine months. Pay in the summer months (3 months) must be supplied by the individual researcher through grants, etc.

Tammy Copp-Barta 7 years, 5 months ago

When I worked at KU the Chairman I worked for got a 10% raise while he refused to do evaluations on the classified staff which resulted in us not getting a raise that year. He worked about 10-15 hours a week teaching classes he had taught for years so really had no prep to worry about (that fell to us in the office to get his copies done and deal with his students) AND had us answering phones for his consulting business through the office - which was a big no-no - when we complained to HR nothing was done about it. There are some great faculty out there .. then there are the prima-donas and the faculty that just live here because they KNOW they would never make it in the real world ....

lily 7 years, 5 months ago

It isn't just faculty but staff too. Insurance rates are going up for those folks. No cost of living increases in the last 2-3 years. There sure seems to be a lot of higher administration positions opening up and being created but less people at the ground level and those jobs aren't being filled.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 5 months ago

This article comes far from telling the whole story. It's NOT just two years. That's the "official" freeze date, but in many areas there haven't been funds for raises in many, many years.

My wife sits in her performance reviews, year after year, and is told that she's worth her weight in gold, but that there is no money for raises. Once her boss just broke down in tears at one of those meetings because of how obviously unfair it was. My wife hasn't had a raise in nearly a decade, and I'm describing an EXEMPLARY employee, not one of those sit and watch others work complainers.

"Some KU employee salaries have increased as part of a state plan to raise the pay of people who have been paid far below market value, officials said."

This is called "compression". For every 5-6 employees that qualify for compression, maybe one per year will get additional funding for a small raise. My wife is paid in the low $40Ks, yet she is paid nearly $20K less per year than she would at a peer institution such as MU. In spite of the fact that they cannot afford to replace her if she would leave, she still gets passed up for "compression" pay every year. That's why this is a legit emergency.

This university is run by mid-level administrators. The higher-ups get 6-figure pay. The faculty are paid "well". But the people who keep things running haven't had ANY raises in several years. FACT.

I had to ask my wife if we had enough money to buy gas for the car today. We live in a 60-year old two-bedroom house and have no car payment, yet we cannot buy gas. Does that make sense for a KU administrator with a perfect professional reputation who has a masters degree in Higher Ed Administration working at KU? After 10 years: cannot just buy a tank of gas. We don't buy weed and we shop at Checkers, but cannot live on her "professional" wages at KU.

mom_of_three 7 years, 5 months ago

no raise in nearly a decade? guess it depends upon the department and the job.

Sunny Parker 7 years, 5 months ago

A lot people in the private sector have not received raises!

I say NO raises!

vuduchyld 7 years, 4 months ago

Good thing you are not a decision-maker.

Wonder if this is how it works at your job. "Some of these toilets haven't been cleaned, so I'm not cleaning the rest!"

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 5 months ago

Pardon me if I think you are full of it. You have come to this judgment after your extensive, day-in, day-out interactions with a wide range of KU professors. Your avatar describes you well.

Many KU professors are slack-offs, such as in the humanities and social "sciences". These professors should be dealt with

However, many in engineering and the natural sciences work 60+ hours a week both teaching as well as running full-time research operations.

Jealousy is unbecoming. Maybe you should have worked hard and focused on your studies.

grimpeur 7 years, 4 months ago

"60+ hours a week? Many of us do that."

Not you, obviously.

Graczyk 7 years, 4 months ago

"I have yet to see a tenured professor actually earn their wage."

You obviously: 1. Aren't paying attention 2. Are upset that your life didn't turn out like you thought it would 3. Are being willfully ignorant

Pick one and run with it.

SnakeFist 7 years, 5 months ago

Just yesterday we were discussing the fact that social security won't get a cost-of-living increase because inflation is too low. Why should public employees get raises given the same circumstances? I doubt many private sector employees have received significant raises in the past two or three years (not that all faculty, e.g., history professors, have any value in the private sector).

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

Tying COLA increases only to inflation is a mistake, since costs of living can increase without inflation via property and sales taxes, increases in costs of healthcare, etc.

JayhawksandHerd 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes, because government employees don't pay taxes.

Alceste 7 years, 5 months ago

NO! "Faculty and staff" always FAIL to count all the fringe benefits they receive due to being a "family member" of whatever school.

As long as state Civil Service workers confront a non-existent merit pay plan; as long as state Civil Service workers are ordered to do more with long as all that stuff goes down, NO PAY INCREASES FOR UNIVERSITY STAFF OR FACULTY. NONE. ZERO. NOTHING.

Why does a podunk state like Kansas NEED so MANY "institutions of higher learning" anyway? It's long past time to consolidatae these schools; shut down 2/3 of 'em and get on with the business of educating.

TheSychophant is 110% correct about all the perks associated with "...being in the family...." and ease of lifestyle, comfort in the working environment, etc., etc., etc. seem to never be around when there is a clamor for more pay. The argument is made that "quality staff" could "...make more in the private sector....". FINE...let them go to the private sector and discover the blunt reality of the day: NO WAY.

While we're at it....kindly reduce the Chancellor's benefit package at KU and KSU for starters.....REDUCE...

mom_of_three 7 years, 5 months ago

what fringe benefits do staff receive at KU?

Alceste 7 years, 4 months ago

To begin with, "staff" at KU were successful in removing themselves from the state's Civil Service system and set up their own internal system! This action was nothing more than a "thumbing the nose" insult to other civil service workers. That's just for starters and that's a mighty fine "fringe".

Next, the atmosophere of PRODUCING 1 widget a day rather than 5 or even ten permeates KU at the very least, not to mention all the other "institutions". That's a mighty fine fringe benefit right there! What about the comfortable work environments enjoyed by "staff" and the ability to take off work pretty much whenever they want? Try doing that at...say...Vangent; Lawrence Paper Company; Allen Press; Dillon's...etc. etc. etc. How many "staff" are permitted to "serve" on various "Boards" around town and county and are able to claim the time away from work as an aspect of their work?! Incredible "innovative" thinking goes on up there on that hil....."innovative" thinking to get out of real work....

Nope....not a thin dime needs to be dedicated to "retain" either staff or faculty. In fact, now is the time to encourage all who don't like the way it is now to LEAVE.....there are a ton of very well qualifed individulas who would be thrilled to pick up the non-existent work load of these chronic cry babies....

mom_of_three 7 years, 4 months ago

it appears you are talking about two different levels of staff. You have the USS and then you seem to also talk about the other un-whatever staff. I know I don't get to take off when I want to without vacation.

Alceste 7 years, 4 months ago

I do not rent to students or anything/anyone connected with the University of Kansas. I prefer to rent to people who will pay the rent and understand that "security deposit" is legal mumbo jumbo for juice money that goes to me....kinda like an "application fee". Too, I prefer at least 5 unrelated people living together. I'm trying to create solutions for our City's homeless populataion, don't ya know? I've found the good City of Lawrence to be very generous in its Section VIII subsidies. Thanks for your concern.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 5 months ago

It never fails to amuse me, all of the jealous rage directed at KU professors. Many are indeed complacent lay-abouts. KU needs to deal with these.

My guess is at heart, though, it is jealous anger.

Ever heard of hard work? Ever heard of motivation? Ever heard of achievement?

My guess is that most of the posters here bashing KU salaries were f'offs in school. These people likely took the easy road in their education, did not focus on their studies, played around in school, and then, when time came to get a job, they took on some low-paying trade because that is all they were qualified for.

Now, after blowing their chance at a high-paying professional job, these tradesmen, getting paid peanuts for running wire or seating toilets or framing houses, are POed at those who worked hard and achieved and are now being rewarded for their hard work.

What? My lousy job situation can't be my fault! It's those high-achieving, intelligent, hard-working, motivated, serious KU professors.

What a bunch of whiners. Slack off your entire education, take the easy road, and then complain when hard-working achievers have success. Pathetic.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 5 months ago

Quit whining about your situation that you, and no one else, is responsible for.

If you want a better salary, try working hard and achieving something instead of railing against the successful.

You did a good job of choosing your avatar.

wastewatcher 7 years, 5 months ago

The Presidents need to study business 101 and learn to manage their money prudently.. They have money to give raises to select people and to pay their predecessors for not working so they should have money to pay those deserving. We should see studies of real faculty losses and the reasons why. I expect the loss rate is less than most businesses.

kernal 7 years, 5 months ago

Tuff. Bite the bullet like the rest of us.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 5 months ago

You are assuming a lot in your last post. As usual, commenting on things you know nothing about.

1983Hawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes, Moocher. I'm sure many folks do continue to "work hard" as you noted in a previous post. Then again, looking at your post count and the counts of a number of the other haters who spend countless hours on these boards, it would seem that a lot of the jealous types to which yourworstnightmare refers don't exactly have their noses slavishly applied to the grindstone in that model of efficiency that is the private sector.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

1983Hawk 7 years, 4 months ago

I'm with nightmare. The predictable whiners about a story like this are likely underachievers who rage and fume against state employees and university faculty "elites" because they are pliant tools who are on here doing exactly what Ayn Rand, Glenn Beck and the Koch oil billionaires would have them do. But while they sit at their keyboards for countless hours, somehow taking time away from scratching out a living while struggling to pay all the taxes which support the hated public sector, we can only hope they aren't using any electricity or drinking any tea purchased by social security or military retiremennt checks. Can't have any of the pure as driven snow types on here accused of hypocrisy,

volunteer 7 years, 4 months ago

Faculty is crying for pay raises at the same time our students now can get a degree with less education. Four credit hours less.

And many law students who just finished paying enormous tuition and pased the bar still cannot find a job...but their loan payments are nevertheless due.

It's a freaking bad Recession, faculty. Many construction workers in town, for example, are earning LESS money than before, so don't be surprised if your cry about "no raises" falls on deaf ears during this crummy Recession.

Or walk down Mass Street and see how many empty storefronts there are.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 4 months ago

Lawrence construction workers and shop owners should thank their lucky stars that KU is in Lawrence. Without salaries paid to KU faculty and staff, there would be no need for new houses or nice shops downtown.

Quit your whining and realize that salaries trickle down from KU to support the trades and businesses in Lawrence. A raise for a KU employee is also a raise for tradesmen and shop owners.

Stephen Roberts 7 years, 4 months ago

I think you are giving KU prof too much credit in your posts. Lawrence has become larger not because of KU but of its' location..... I chose to live in Lawrence beacuse it is between two larger employment centers (KC & Topeka)... many people did this.....

beatrice 7 years, 4 months ago

Cut tuition. By cutting tuition, that will bring in more money.

Isn't that what they say about taxes? So why won't it work with tuition?

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 4 months ago

Laughable. Yes, KU employees spending less money on construction, houses, and shop items is just what the economy needs right now.

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