Topeka The Kansas Board of Regents today approved a nearly 14 percent pay increase for Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.
The $60,000 increase will bring her annual salary to $492,650.
Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz also received a $60,000 raise. The other university presidents also received increases.
The pay raises for all the university leaders will be funded through private dollars, the regents said.
"We have six of the finest chief executive officers that we could ever ask for," said Regent Chairman Tim Emert, of Independence. "We are doing everything we can to keep them in those positions," he said.
Regent Dan Lykins, of Topeka, said the university leaders were "six of the best and brightest people in the United States."
Board members said the raises were necessary to close the salary gap with leaders at peer institutions.
They emphasized several times that the increases will be funded through foundations at the schools.
Dale Seuferling, president of the KU Endowment Association, said, "We are pleased to support the Board of Regents' request that we provide additional support for the coming year."
Gray-Little's salary is a combination of state and private funds. Her current salary of $432,650 includes $271,986 in state funds, and $160,664 in private funds, according to KU.
Last month, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that Gray-Little was the 86th-highest-paid public university executive in 2011-12.
In addition, the board approved an $8,000 bonus for Regents President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Tompkins.
The pay raises are effective July 1.
Here are the current salaries, the pay raises and new salaries approved by the regents.
Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, KU; $432,650; $60,000; $492,650.
President Kirk Schulz, Kansas State; $400,050; $60,000; $460,500.
President John Bardo, Wichita State; $330,000; $15,000; $345,000.
President Ed Hammond, Fort Hays State; $255,200; $11,250; $266,450.
President Steve Scott, Pittsburg State; $248,378; $6,000; $254,378.
President Michael Shonrock, Emporia State; $240,000; $11,250; $251,250.