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Archive for Thursday, August 30, 2012

Part-time driver hired for KU’s chancellor

August 30, 2012

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In the hopes of freeing up more work time for Kansas University’s leader, KU has hired a part-time driver for Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little to take her to and from some out-of-town appointments.

The university hired Robin Moore, a retired Douglas County Sheriff’s deputy with 32 years of law enforcement experience, to serve as her driver, said Mary Burg, executive assistant to the chancellor.

He will make $20 per hour start Sept. 10, and will serve on an as-needed basis. Burg said the university said the times the chancellor would need a driver could vary widely, but the university was preliminarily estimating that he would work 15 hours per week.

“We’re trying this out. We’ve never done this before, so we don’t know how many hours this will end up being,” she said.

The driver will be primarily for trips to and from Kansas City, where the chancellor spends at least one day each week at KU Medical Center.

This week, however, Burg said Gray-Little has spent more time in Kansas City interviewing executive vice chancellor candidates for KUMC.

The chancellor will still drive herself to and from all appointments in Lawrence.

Not all trips to Kansas City will require a driver, and he will be used primarily when the chancellor has more than one appointment in a day, said Jack Martin, a KU spokesman.

Regent Ed McKechnie, of Arcadia, said regents have been working with university CEOs on time-management strategies that can help them be more productive.

With KUMC and KU’s Edwards Campus in the Kansas City area, he said, the regents suggested Gray-Little hire a driver so she could work while in the car.

“We’re not paying (the chancellor) to circle the block 20 times looking for a parking spot,” he said.

He said regents do encourage Kansas State President Kirk Schulz and Fort Hays State President Ed Hammond to make use of university aircraft to cut down on travel time, though neither has a driver.

KU’s chancellor has been working long hours since taking the job in 2009, he said.

“I think the chancellor inherited more opportunities for improvement than Kirk Schulz inherited,” McKechnie said.

Officials at KU’s regional peers in the Association of American Universities — the University of Iowa, the University of Missouri and Iowa State University — all said that they do not employ drivers for their university leaders.

But Martin said Gray-Little had heard from peers at the University of Texas-Austin and the University of Virginia who did use drivers.

A UT spokesman said an employee of the president’s office had job duties that included, but were not limited to, driving the president to some meetings and events.

Burg said the university hired Moore without posting the job, something that the university’s human resources department allows, she said.

She said the university was looking for a person with a certain maturity level, someone that the university felt comfortable overhearing confidential conversations and someone with law enforcement experience.

For some trips to the airport in Kansas City, KU had been hiring a car service for the chancellor at $100 per hour.

“At least for the airport travel, that’s going to save some money,” Burg said.

Comments

uggadyboogadyboo 1 year, 7 months ago

forgot to mention the authors apples to apples comparison of ut and ku for justification of a limo. Heres the campus list.

Paid for by TAXES KU lawrence, Wichita Campus, Edwards Campus, Salina Campus, University of Kansas Medical Center

Paid for by oil Royalties University_of_Texas_at_Austin

University_of_Texas_at_Dallas

University_of_Texas_at_Arlington

University_of_Texas_at_San_Antonio

University_of_Texas_at_El_Paso

University_of_Texas_at_Brownsville

University_of_Texas_Health_Science_Center_at_Houston

University_of_Texas_at_Tyler

University_of_Texas_at_Permian Basin

University_of_Texas_at_Pan American

University_of_Texas_at Fort Worth Riverbend Campus

University_of_Texas___M_D__Anderson_Cancer_Center Medical Branch at Galveston

University_of_Texas_Medical_Branch San Antonio

University_of_Texas_at_Care_Providers/Hospitals_and_Medical_Centers Houston

University_of_Texas Southwestern Medical School Dallas

 (Up coming new medical school  University_of_Texas Austin)

The heck with the limo, this over worked state employee needs a helicopter.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 7 months ago

Good for KU for creating a job!

$20 per hour isn't really a lot of money. Not in this century. That would be about $37,000 - $40,000 a year. Will that buy a home anywhere in Lawrence,Kansas? = likely not.

Would that support a family in Lawrence,Kansas? barely to not any longer.

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Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

OK. Charge me an extra penny next year if it will protect her and allow her to work more efficiently.

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irtnog2001 1 year, 7 months ago

With the tecnhnology available today there is no need to drive her anywhere. And if they need the Chancellors personal assistance at KU Med just what do the high paid administrators at KU Med do to justify their exorbitant salaries? To kill two birds with one stone KU should pay back the state for all of its assets and just privatize. KU becomes the elite private institution it wants to and Kansas budget problems are over.

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uggadyboogadyboo 1 year, 7 months ago

Ziiiiiiiiiip..... Ya'll all are missing it. Why is she required to go to KC? The campus for KU is in Lawrence. She can't stay busy in Lawrence? If they want something they need to come to the Imperial city and spend money in the fine restaurants in Lawrence. Etc...... The next thing from that office will be she needs a condo in KC. This from a Chancellor who has a degree in prison supervision. If you put a tracker on this limo, you'll see it circling Neimans ......... and then on to The American Restaurant. Anybody heard of Skype?

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Carol Bowen 1 year, 7 months ago

The chancellor is responsible for academics, the KU Med Center complex, and athletics. (Athletics and KU Med could have used more scrutiny in the past.) She has a lot on her plate and should have a driver.

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 7 months ago

Most are just jealous. Face it, driving around Lawrence is no carnival, but to KC is a nightmare. She should not be alone in the car at night. Simple as that!. As for the deputy, that person does have the right for "concealed and carry" . The weapon can be onboard.

What I would want though is the job to drive Shade. I'll do that for $8.50 an hour if he provides the car.

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Eddie_Haskell 1 year, 7 months ago

No. I did not like that Driving Miss Daisy movie.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 7 months ago

Seriously? What a time to be in Lawrence, KS. Worst City Commission ever. Worst Governor ever. And worst chancellor ever. Anyone remember when the Big 12 was imploding and Bernadette was pleading with Nebraska and Colorado to stay in the Big 12, then she just sat around with a deer in the headlights look and sent Bill Self out to do her job? God that woman is a mess.

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CWGOKU 1 year, 7 months ago

Give the driver some KU basketball tickets in case he gets pulled over...

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irvan moore 1 year, 7 months ago

robin is a good guy and i think he's a bargin at $20. per hour, would assume he has driving skills and a carry permit

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rumor_man 1 year, 7 months ago

This is the "pc" way of saying she has gotten behind the wheel one too many times after drinking too much at fundraisers.

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scopi_guy 1 year, 7 months ago

Will he carry her to the Piggly Wiggly?

Kidding aside, sounds like a good idea to me. Makes sense.

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classclown 1 year, 7 months ago

The_Big_B

Let's not call him a "driver" ... I prefer "Coachman".

August 31, 2012 at 10:19 a.m

========================================

I thought a coachman was the guy that hung on for dear life on the back of the coach and then would open the door and put the steps in place for the riders to enter/exit the coach.

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classclown 1 year, 7 months ago

And of course that will set a precedent. Every chancellor in the future will be entitled to a personal chauffeur during his/her tenure there. And probably in retirement as well.

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classclown 1 year, 7 months ago

Frankly I think they're starting the process of taking the old gals' keys away. Easing her into it. "We'll just have him drive you long distances on the highway." Then soon it will be a good idea to have him drive her around town as well.

Next thing you know they'll say she can't drive anymore and will pay to have a chauffeur drive her everywhere whether she is on company time or private time.

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LJ Whirled 1 year, 7 months ago

Special treats for special people. The person in charge of your University cannot drive 40 miles to her reserved parking space?

Let's not call him a "driver" ... I prefer "Coachman".

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Silent_Dave 1 year, 7 months ago

“We’re not paying (the chancellor) to circle the block 20 times looking for a parking spot." Isn't she like 80? She should have a handicap placard.

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budwhysir 1 year, 7 months ago

There goes this years tuition hike...

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RoeDapple 1 year, 7 months ago

"Secret Police" . . . isn't.

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budwhysir 1 year, 7 months ago

the article says they dont want her driving around for an hour looking for a parking spot??? in KC at KU Med???? There is a parking garage and the staff has its own parking area that is reserved... doesnt she have her own parking spot?

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Andini 1 year, 7 months ago

Thanks ljworld. I now have Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston from The Bodyguard stuck in my head.

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hip_gma 1 year, 7 months ago

I think this is a great idea! The driver can focus on the driving and the chancellor can focus on her work and not have to deal with the traffic or crazy drivers.

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Stacy Napier 1 year, 7 months ago

It said he was retired so no he won't be in uniform since he doesn't have one.

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Thomas Bryce 1 year, 7 months ago

This site is acting up. It posted what I tried to edit twice. I flagged the shorter post for removal.

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Thomas Bryce 1 year, 7 months ago

Will the Deputy be in full uniform with a sidearm? This sounds a lot more about security for the Chancellor than efficiency. Why not an unarmed Professional Chauffeur? They must have their reasons. What happened to VIP Parking places? Circling the block 20 times looking for a parking place sounds a little far fetched to me.

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Thomas Bryce 1 year, 7 months ago

Will the Deputy be in full uniform with a sidearm? This sounds a lot more about security for the Chancellor than efficiency. Why not an unarmed Professional Chauffeur? They must have their reasons.

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FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 7 months ago

I'm 'all' for the 1% getting 'all' the protection they can get off the taxpayer dime.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 7 months ago

All well and good but $20/hr for a driver? Jez... I guess money does grow on trees at KU.

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Keith Richards 1 year, 7 months ago

I agree that I would rather have her working during the hour and half round trip between the med center and Lawrence. If you can pay someone 1/10 of what she is making, go for it.

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 7 months ago

I think this a good move and more importantly from a security and safety standpoint. She should not be subjected to being alone during evening hours returning from the K C area.

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