Archive for Thursday, October 20, 2011

Statehouse Live: Regents approve salary increases for university chiefs; hefty ones for some

October 20, 2011, 12:17 p.m. Updated October 20, 2011, 7:43 p.m.


— Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little on Thursday got a 1.8 percent salary increase, while her counterpart at Kansas State got a 14.3 percent hike.

Why? Because Kansas State President Kirk Schulz was one of three chief executives of regents universities to receive a hefty “market adjustment” from the Kansas Board of Regents.

“We all believe we have great university leaders at our regents institutions,” said Regent Fred Logan Jr. of Leawood as he laid out the plan.

All of the school leaders received the 1.8 percent cost of living increase.

But the regents also provided “market adjustments,” ranging from 12.2 percent to 14.7 percent, for the heads of Kansas State, Fort Hays State and Pittsburg State. Under the pay plan, K-State’s Schulz will see a $50,500 annual increase, while Gray-Little’s dollar increase was $7,650. Gray-Little’s salary cap, however, is still more than Schulz’s.

In addition, Steve Scott, president of Pittsburg State University, will receive a 14.7 percent market increase and Ed Hammond, president of Fort Hays State, 12.2 percent.

Prior to the action, the board had not granted salary increases to the heads of regents schools since 2009 as the state has struggled with the recession.

The increases will take effect Jan. 1 and will be paid through a combination of public and private, endowment funds. But how much will be state dollars and how much private, hasn’t been worked out yet, Regent Chairman Ed McKechnie of Arcadia said. Essentially, what the regents did was increase the salary cap for the chief executive officers.

The method of payment was criticized by Regent Tim Emert of Independence who was the lone opponent of the plan, which was approved 8-1.

Emert said the raises should be paid with state dollars, and not placed on the backs of students, through tuition and foundation funds.

“The state Legislature and governor, for some reason, refuse to step up to the plate and reward excellence,” Emert said.

Emert also said he was concerned about the employees who are not getting raises. “All the people keeping the engines running are not receiving increases,” he said.

But Christine Downey-Schmidt of Inman voted for the increase, saying that it was one way to provide raises. “It seems we have asked more and more and more from these presidents and the chancellor. We are asking more, we ought to be able to deliver,” she said.

Gray-Little’s increase will put her salary cap, which includes state and endowment funding, at $432,650, an increase of $7,650 from her current cap of $425,000.

Regents members said the fact that Gray-Little did not get a market adjustment was not a reflection on what they thought of her job performance. They said the 1.8 percent increase represented a cost of living increase and should be interpreted as being a vote of confidence.

Logan said the market adjustments were needed because those presidents who received them were being paid much less than their peers.

He said the 1.8 percent increase “was not pro forma. It is a vote of confidence.”

The regents are currently searching for a new president at Emporia State, and Wichita State President Don Beggs, who is leaving next year, received a 1.8 percent cost of living increase.

The board also is considering establishing a merit system pool to provide up to 3 percent increases for the chief executives in the fiscal year that starts July 1, 2012.

Regents members met several times in closed session to discuss CEO salaries.

The current and increased salaries, which include state and private funds, under the regents vote are as follows:

• Beggs, WSU, $277,160 to $282,150 (No market adjustment; 1.8 percent cost of living increase).

• Gray-Little, KU, $425,000 to $432,650 (No market adjustment; 1.8 percent cost of living increase).

• Schulz, KSU, $350,000 to $400,050 (12.5 percent market adjustment and 1.8 percent cost of living increase).

• Hammond, FHSU, $222,860 to $255,200 (12.2 percent market adjustment and 1.8 percent cost of living increase).

• Scott, PSU, $213,200 to $248,378 (14.7 percent market adjustment and 1.8 percent cost of living increase).

• ESU to be determined.


CreatureComforts 6 years, 1 month ago

I don't necessarily think engagedecoy was commenting on the money itself, but rather the increase in pay when most of her staff are not getting any.

napoleon969 6 years, 1 month ago

Must be friggin nice. State employees haven't had a raise in 6 or 7 years and these buttheads get a 1.8% increase.

TongiJayhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Exactly! I get tired of jealousy about how much someone else makes. I have friends and family who make a lot more money that I do. I too could have spent more years in school, worked 60 hour weeks, spent less time with my family, had more stressful positions. I didn't feel like it was worth the trade off. So next time remember there is usually a reason why some folks make more than others!

tomatogrower 6 years, 1 month ago

I'm not sure if people are jealous of the money they make, they are in administration. I think the problem is the lack of raises for everyone else. They would like to just get enough of a raise to keep up with higher living costs.

TongiJayhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

I believe they have set aside money for all non-faculty positions. The story was just about the admin folks.

Mel Wedermyer 6 years, 1 month ago

They should refuse the raises until everyone under them get raises. Let be fair, fight for your people.

bevy 6 years, 1 month ago

When will all of the other market adjustments that were promised to state employees over the past five years be funded/implemented? When will the office assistants, custodians, prison guards, other lower-level staff get THEIR cost-of-living adjustments? When the legislature gets the guts to fund them - which may be never.

newmedia 6 years, 1 month ago

And you just know those nasty Koch brothers had a hand in this somewhere! lol

Bob_Keeshan 6 years, 1 month ago

The suggestion here is that K-State is in a similar "market" with KU and the head of K-State should be paid accordingly.

Would love to see the metrics they are using to determine that.

wastewatcher 6 years, 1 month ago

The Regents just love to spend our money. Have they ever considered that the market pays what the market needs to, to attract and retain talent.. Kansas has no trouble doing either at the Regents schools. Just look at and understand the history. According to the Regents we are able to get the best leaders and they stay. The Regents once again display the fact that they are out of touch with reality when it comes to salaries and spending. It is time to make changes and rest assured Governor Brownback will at his first opportunity. I cannot wait for common sense to return .

Don Whiteley 6 years, 1 month ago

My god, man; how can she live on just $432,000? We cut SRS, cut services to all of our poor families in the state, fire teachers and keep the salaries level on those who remain, increase college tuition for our students...all so we can make the rich richer. Nobody deserves a pay increase like that when so little money is available for anything else, not this year!

kujayhawk7476 6 years, 1 month ago

The money isn't the real issue regarding Gray-Little. They gave her a vote of confidence? Why? Has there been any evidence that her performance is moving the university forward, advancing in the national rankings in any field? In my opinion she is the least inspiring, least motivational, least effective chancellor at my alma mater since I've been an alum, and that has been 37 years. Before it's too late, she needs to be relieved of her duties and a national search for her replacement begun.

irvan moore 6 years, 1 month ago

was involved in firing mangino and hiring gill, who could possibly give her a vote of confidence

Alceste 6 years, 1 month ago

These "caps" are absurd; particularly given the economic state of affairs in Kansas, not to mention the U.S.A.

Regents can go fly a kite. They're so insulated from reality it's become amusing.

It's long past time Kansas took a serious look at the Regents' function and why a dinky little speck on the map like Kansas needs so many state supported and funded "schools". Close some of 'em down; consolidate; and get on with the business of "higher education".

So many unemployed in this state and the wealthy simply turn a blind eye to it and pay themselves some more.

Let's not forget that Bernie gets a free place to live in along with free meals, free heating and cooling, free everything PLUS this "pay". Good grief....

Mixolydian 6 years, 1 month ago

Our Chancellor is about 80 grand away from being an evil evil 1 percenter. If she isn't careful she could get some down twinkles.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 6 years, 1 month ago

Unemployment at 9%, and we are still in a recession. These bozos just don't get it. The worst part is that many of these increases will be paid for with taxpayer money. I am totally disgusted, as usual. I stay that way living here. I never in my life saw such total disregard for the people who do the work to earn this money. I think term limits should be set for any elected or appointed job, it has come to that. Thank you, Lynn

kujayhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Self does a better job than the president.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 1 month ago

Good decisions by the BOR. We need to attract and keep good talent. I've only learned a couple of things on the Internet. "Everyone is overpaid except for me." and "I can do any job perfectly, except--of course--for the one I currently hold." The salaries are not out of line for the market.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 1 month ago

Kansas has too many regent's universities. At least two of them should be shuttered from among Emporia State, Pitt State, and Fort Hays State.

It is simply not cost effective to maintain all of these universities in a state with the population of Kansas.

newmedia 6 years, 1 month ago

We need more city colleges like Washburn....

CreatureComforts 6 years, 1 month ago

Fort Hays is accurately following the trend of increasing distance learning (where the future of education is likely heading), while KU continues to ignore this huge need. I almost think FHSU has a better future, and is more worthy of being kept, than KU.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 1 month ago

Thus spake the expert on the future of higher education... (rolls eyes)

Steve Bunch 6 years, 1 month ago

He's correct about distance learning. KU has online degree programs in nursing and pharmacy. That's it. K-State has dozens of online degrees and articulation agreements with every community college in the state. FHSU has more Chinese students than Americans, and the Chinese students are in effect subsidizing the traditional residential campus, keeping prices down for Kansas students. KU has ignored the shrinking high school demographic and the hundreds if not thousands of community college students who might be interested in completing a degree at KU but can't uproot families and leave jobs to move to Lawrence for two years.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 1 month ago

I think FHSU should become all online, if it is so great.

Shutter the campus and make all classes online.

Online education is about consumer demand, and not about receiving a quality education. It may be the future for many disciplines, but medicine engineering, and the sciences require hands-on, intense, and constant learning.

Steve Bunch 6 years, 1 month ago

Higher education has become a commodity. I'm not happy about that, but it's a fact. Obviously, not all degrees lend themselves to online instruction. Unfortunately, KU wants to have it both ways--and state universities generally have this dilemma: Whether to go for some kind of elite status in teaching and research or to meet consumer demand. Consequently, KU is slipping in both areas. FHSU made a clear decision about its "business plan" and seems to be flourishing. KU is trying to be all things to all potential students. By the way, don't lump all online instruction together. There is admittedly the pay-your-money-get-your-grade variety, but there are also programs that are rigorous.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 1 month ago

Why heck, maybe we should just make it totally about onsumer demand. Why even offer classes or force students to study and pass exams?

Let's just have students pay for their grades and degrees.

Want an A? $1000 per credit.

A B? $700 per credit.

"Consumers" would love this, and I am sure it would become a "trend".

CreatureComforts 6 years, 1 month ago

Have you done any online education to support your claim that one need not pass exams?

Scott Morgan 6 years, 1 month ago

We must as a nation bring public servants hahahahhahahahahahahahahah salaries under control. Washington DC averaging 126K in pay?

The most interesting comments, or lack of comments always come when a complaining state or federal worker realizes there are thousands ready to step in for less.

The pay for these public educators including Supers at local districts will crush us eventually.

BorderRat 6 years, 1 month ago

The greed, the greed, Occupy Lilac Lane!

gccs14r 6 years, 1 month ago

I like the idea that no one in a superior position should be paid more than 10% more than his highest-paid subordinate. That's how Boeing handled supervisor pay on the production floor when I was there.

Beate Williams 6 years, 1 month ago

The money is not coming from the state, I see that as the problem. Brownie and his cohorts do not like higher education and are not funding it, therefore, the BORs have decided to do something and they are putting it on the backs of the institutions by making them increase tuition to pay for increases for not only the administrators but all employees of the institutions. Many of you think Gray is being overpaid for what she is doing, the president of UT makes over $750,000 a year with perks and the president of UTMedical School makes over one million a year and these people have been getting big bonuses and they have not demonstrated any type of excellence that in my mind would indicate they deserve bonuses not to mention those types of salaries. There are administrators at UTMedical School who make more than Gray.

The Regents system exists all over the country so it is not simply Kansas that is doing things that seem a bit weird and that is because these folks are appointed by the governors and you can imagine with all these Republicans in the governor's chairs of late, making appointments to the BORs, what kind of appointments they are making. In Texas Perry has appointed folks who are anti research and so schools that emphasize research are losing state funds and are losing researchers as a result. They want to support teachers/professors who teach, at least those who teach what they want them to teach. Many believe they are trying to make the universities private can only imagine what they will bring forth.

Anyway, things are not going to get any better for those who value the universities in Kansas until people wake up and do something about Brownie. But that doesn't seem to be limited to universities but anything that has to do with large numbers of people, especially people who need the government, e.g., the closing of the SRS office in Lawrence. I couldn't believe that actually happened and the posturing they are now doing...I would not trust them until I saw it in writing. At least they haven't gone to that extent in Texas, they keep the offices open they just don't provide funding to do the things that need to be done.

I'm sorry, I should not have gone on like this.

KuGal12426 6 years, 1 month ago

Students working at KU for years are still getting paid minimum wage because the state won't allow raises (or "market adjustments") for them. However, students with the exact same positions are getting hired at a higher rate because of "market adjustments."

There is something wrong when the people who get everything and have all the power to make these kinds of changes just keep getting more and they can't show any respect to the lowly minimum wage employees that have shown loyalty to their positions at KU but are in turn rewarded with absolutely nothing (aside from the glorious euphoric feeling one gets from training someone who is making at least $1/hr more than you to do the exact same job as you).

hawker123 6 years, 1 month ago

The President of the United States makes $400k for pete sakes.... the Universities should not be paying their staff more than that.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 1 month ago

Shutter Pitt State.

Shutter Emporia State.

Make Fort Hays State an online only institution.

Use the money to strengthen the remaining universities.

Erin England 5 years, 6 months ago

These towns need those universities. They bring life and economy. Shutting down a university is not the answer. They may not bring the kind of energy that Div I supplies, but they are a vital part of the town's survival. I cannot speak for Pittsburg, but Emporia's business is dwindling. Industry does not stay there long. Emporia State keeps people coming and moving to Emporia. These universities are beneficial even if it seems some executives are over compensated.

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