Archive for Tuesday, April 24, 2012

KU agrees on payment package with outgoing KUMC leader Barbara Atkinson

Atkinson to receive more than $419K after she steps down

April 24, 2012


Kansas University and its retiring KU Medical Center leader have reached an agreement that will pay Barbara Atkinson more than $419,000 after she officially steps down from her role on June 30 and outlines her departure from the university.

Related document

Barbara Atkinson Transition Agreement ( .PDF )

Atkinson announced earlier this month that she would be stepping down from her roles as executive vice chancellor of KUMC and executive dean of the KU School of Medicine on June 30.

Though the agreement states that Atkinson will be placed on administrative leave and would not be involved in any decisions relating to the university after April 9, she will be paid her normal salary, including housing and car allowances, through June 30. Atkinson earns $543,614 per year.

After she leaves, she agreed to take a one-time, lump sum payment of $419,253, which represents her unpaid salary through April 9, 2013, one year after the day the university announced she was stepping down.

The payment was taken instead of Atkinson taking a one-year sabbatical, said Tim Caboni, KU’s vice chancellor for public affairs.

“It is not unusual for folks who serve their institutions as long and as well as she has to receive a sabbatical at the end of her service,” Caboni said.

Caboni said the lump sum payment would be made using privately raised funds. He said he could not discuss the specific reasons why the proposal was made.

According to the written agreement, Atkinson agreed to vacate her office and return all university property, documents and equipment on or before Friday. She also agreed not to be involved with the operations of the university or direct any other personnel or actions after April 9.

The agreement also prohibits senior university leaders from making “materially negative comments” to anyone about Dr. Atkinson that might cause someone to question her “integrity, quality, competence or diligence.” Atkinson has a similar clause in the agreement that prevents her from making such comments about the university or its leadership.

She also agreed to make herself available for consulting to discuss university-related matters, and to release the university, the KU Hospital Authority, the Kansas Board of Regents, KU Physicians Inc. and other parties from any liability based on events occurring through the time the agreement was signed on April 18.

The agreement also includes a draft version of the press release distributed on April 9 that announced Atkinson’s departure and named Steven Stites as interim executive vice chancellor and dean of the medical school.

Left unspecified in the agreement is the employment status of Atkinson’s husband, G. William Atkinson, who works as a professor of general medicine at KUMC at a salary of $124,435. A KUMC spokesman said he was still employed and would see patients part time for now.

Barbara Atkinson reports to Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, who would not discuss the agreement on Tuesday.

“What we’re focused on is the future of the medical center,” Caboni said.


Alceste 5 years, 7 months ago

Why on earth should this overpaid acadamician receive one dime for services not rendered? Right here is a keen metaphor for why the system is so broken and rotten to the core.

She has chosen to quit. Fine. Retire, draw your overpaid Regents Plan retirement, and go. An extra $500 large just for having been here? Incredible. I don't care if it is "private funds".


skinny 5 years, 7 months ago


Maybe you should have gone to college!

Alceste 5 years, 7 months ago

Oh....that's what it takes to be able to get a payday like that? Just go to college? Nah, there are a gazillion college graduates that do not get paid like that when they quit a job. Unwilling to accept it's a corrupt, vacant, vaccuous process perhaps?

Wayne Propst 5 years, 7 months ago

KU has paid off football coaches...... severances $ 21,000,000.......

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like she's being forced out, not retiring. Who's behind the forcing?

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 7 months ago

perhaps I'll talk to my boss this morning about firing me; seems way more profitable than continuing to work. If that doesn't work, I'll just draw welfare - again way more profitable than continuing to work.

JayhawksandHerd 5 years, 7 months ago

You must have a terrible job if drawing unemployment benefits is "more profitable" than working. My sympathies.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 7 months ago

Probably terms of the original contract. Everyone settle down.

Alceste 5 years, 7 months ago

Even if.....such a PUBLIC/STATE contract ought to be illegal: It's against the public good. And please don't start in with that "In order to attract the most bestest it' gotta be done...." bullbutter. No, it doesn't. Let's try a new way....let's try and get someone who isn't in it for the PAYDAY....but for the WORK....

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 5 years, 7 months ago

It's worth every penny to have her gone. Good riddance.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

Thanks-- that probably explains the gag order on all parties.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 5 years, 7 months ago

Bingo, she was a disaster. Everything she touched turned to crap. If there truly was justice, she'd be paying us $500K for the damages she caused.

LJD230 5 years, 7 months ago

It is time to look to the future. Hopefully the the new dean of the medical school will be a well known academic and researcher from a prestigious and great medical school on either coast. Hopefully the new vice chancellor will be a respected academic, clinician and leader from a prestigious east or west coast university. Hopefully, these two new leaders will transfrom KUMC into a great national resource rather than a mediocre/good regional one.

NCI designation will not enrobe KU with great distinction but it will provide an opportunity for better care to Kansans. Prestige and recognition will come wihen the medical school offers highly competitive post graduate medical education that is prized by graduates of the best medical schools and residency programs in the United States.

purplesage 5 years, 7 months ago

This would seem pretty obscene if we didn't know what it cost to get the last two football coaches out of town.

That said, wouldn't it be great if one of these folks who have gotten rich would forgo pay for not working and give a bonus to the housekeeppers, dietary staff and aides who also work and serve the institution well - but struggle paycheck to paycheck.

This is one of the reasons health care costs are through the roof. But isn't it true tht the LMH administrator gets close to half a million?. And that institution's revenues are not commensurate with KUMC.

KEITHMILES05 5 years, 7 months ago

Word is she is a tyrant and was hated by many.

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