Archive for Friday, August 10, 2012

KU administrative offices renovated for $155K

August 10, 2012


Since the occupants of Kansas University’s highest administration posts have arrived on campus, their office suites have seen more than $155,000 in renovation and remodeling work.

Jack Martin, a KU spokesman, said the renovations were necessary, noting the carpet was last replaced during the 1997-98 school year and had holes and stains in it, and workers were tripping over ripples in the carpet. The chancellor’s conference room was in need of a technology upgrade, he said.

“The most advanced piece of technology in that room was a telephone,” Martin said. “The second most advanced was a white board.”

Records that the Journal-World obtained from an open-records request show that the suites of offices in Strong Hall that include the chancellor’s and provost’s offices received a variety of upgrades, including:

l New flooring in the chancellor’s reception area and 11 offices in the suite, at a cost of more than $30,000.

l Improvements to the Regents Room, the main conference room for the chancellor. A new table, data jacks and video conferencing equipment along with electrical, drywall, painting and other work totalling more than $65,000.

l Replacing 10 office cubicles in the provost’s reception area for more than $33,000.

l Purchasing office furniture in the provost’s offices totalling more than $13,700.

l Purchasing and installing televisions for a conference room in the provost’s office that also serves as the university’s crisis-management room, at a cost of about $3,500.

The remainder of the costs went toward some painting and other work station refurbishment, including the replacement of some cubicles that no longer fit together after being mixed with used furnishings from other offices.

The open-records request asked for records pertaining to renovations dating to when Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little arrived in August 2009, and Provost Jeff Vitter was hired in March 2010, though no improvements were made to the chancellor’s offices until 2011.

Martin said the money used for the provost’s and chancellor’s renovations came from state taxpayer dollars and tuition funds. He said the university spent at least $43 million on building improvements and renovations in the 2011-12 academic year alone, along with more than $620,000 on office furniture and $73,000 on office equipment. Some units may track their expenses differently so they wouldn’t show up in a centralized search, he said.

The last major remodeling of the provost’s and chancellor’s offices came in 2007, when they had more than $100,000 worth of work done, including the remodeling of a kitchen that serves the chancellor’s office area, radiator covers and some painting.

Chris Crandall, a professor of psychology, is serving as president of KU’s University Senate, and has been in the area of the offices and some of the conference rooms for university governance meetings.

“I would say it’s not lavish,” he said of the furnishings and decor in the offices. “It’s modern; it’s good.”

The nicest thing in the offices, he said, is the bathrooms, which he said still weren’t excessively done.

“They’re about at the level of what you’d expect to find in a midlevel attorney’s bathroom,” he said.

— Higher education reporter Andy Hyland can be reached at 832-6388. Follow him at


LeBo 5 years, 5 months ago

The face of the University! No problem. It is time that the campus is upgraded, keeping in line the historical preservation.

gphawk89 5 years, 5 months ago

Sounds like they pretty much gutted the room and started over. A complete audiotelecon system, a network system, a video switching system, an operator console, a big electronic whiteboard, one or more projectors, one or more remote-control screens, one or more computers, locking storage cabinets, bookshelves, maybe an upgraded HVAC system, refreshments table and accessories, video camera for videotelecon, etc. Pretty easy to go way over $100K if you do it right. Not uncommon for a (big) conference table itself to cost over $5K.

RCJH12 5 years, 5 months ago

It should also be noted that after spending all this money to renovate their office, the Provost is now moving out of their space to another location in Strong Hall. Glad to see my tuition dollars from the last four years were hard at work to benefit me.

Also, I like the comment that the renovated offices are "modern." Glad to see that offices student will never go into are "modern" while a majority of the classrooms on campus seem to be stuck in 1974.

Centerville 5 years, 5 months ago

Finally. They haven't redecorated since 2007!

classclown 5 years, 5 months ago

"noting the carpet...had holes and stains in it"


What were they doing on it?

KU_cynic 5 years, 5 months ago

Well, there was that dead horse they had to saw in two in order to remove it from Dean Wormer's office.

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