Archive for Saturday, June 29, 2013

Kansas, Missouri university leaders retire with perks

June 29, 2013


University presidents in Kansas and Missouri are retiring with substantial financial packages that were uncommon a decade ago for leaders of public colleges.

Large exit packages are now “common practice,” said Peter Eckel, vice president for programs and research at the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. He said the money attached to those deals keep getting bigger, and more often the exit deal is worked out when leaders are hired.

Robert Hemenway, who retired from Kansas University in 2009, took a year’s sabbatical and in 2010 returned to the Lawrence campus for a year to write a book and teach an English class for two semesters. He was paid $340,352 for each of those two years, the same annual salary he’d gotten his final year as chancellor. Hemenway is now fully retired and hasn’t received a salary from the university since the summer of 2011.

Other university presidents in Kansas and Missouri who’ve retired over the last five years with lucrative packages include Kansas State University President Jon Wefald. Before Wefald retired in 2009, he was paid $315,962 a year, which included a base salary of $255,298 in state funds and $60,664 from private sources.

When he retired, the Kansas Board of Regents agreed he’d continue to receive his annual base salary of $255,298 for the next two years while he wrote a book about his tenure leading the university.

“One thing I did not expect is how time-consuming this would be,” Wefald said about his book writing. “They are not just giving money away. I’m working seven days a week. This is important. A history of K-State.”

Since 2011, Kansas State has continued to pay Wefald as part of a five-year plan but at a lower rate of $157,982 annually.

The packages given to Wefald and Hemenway were a way to “recognize them and thank them for service to their respective campuses, for their longevity,” said Christine Downey-Schmidt, a member of the Board of Regents.

When University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton retires this fall he’ll direct the Brady and Anne Deaton Institute for University Leadership in International Development on the university’s Columbia campus. He will be paid $200,000.

The payouts don’t always sit well with faculty.

“At a time when faculty, for the last eight years, have not been able to keep up with the cost of living ... I find it unconscionable,” said Gary Ebersole, a history professor and the Faculty Senate chairman at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.


toe 4 years, 11 months ago

The great robbery of our time is from the taxpayers by teachers and administrators.

chootspa 4 years, 10 months ago

Uh, no. That article specifically says it's administrators, not teachers, although one got to keep his inflated salary to play teacher for a while. The UMKC faculty quote points out that they've been losing ground on cost of living for the last eight years.

The whine about book writing being hard is particularly galling. Know how much a typical book author gets? I'll give you a hint. It's not $255k a year for two years to write a book. The university has award winning book authors on their faculty, and they keep their day jobs on top of doing all that writing. In fact, doing all that writing is expected, or they'd never make tenure. Hypocrites in management.

That said, those administrators seem to be just "treating it more like a business." CEOs get all sorts of fancy perks and an average of about 271% of the workers' pay, so I guess we can expect to see even more outrageous salaries in the future.

Jonathan Fox 4 years, 10 months ago

Uh, no. There are 2,309 employees of the University of Kansas who are paid over $100,000 dollars; and 7 of the top 10 who are all paid well over $275,000 are professors.

chootspa 4 years, 10 months ago

Uh no. That wasn't part of the article. Did you read it?

When I pull up the exact same search you allegedly did on KU only one of those names has the title of "professor." The rest are deans, chairs, directors, provosts, the chancellor, etc. That means they've got administrative duties on top of any teaching/research they may also do. They may even have reduced teaching duties to reflect the higher administrative duties. In three cases, they're purely administration. On top of that, I'm willing to bet the one professor on that list is a huge grant magnet and may have other titles that just aren't reflected in that listing.

In no way is this pay reflective of the median, and you know it.

This is what happens when you take something public and make it private to be "more like a business." The administration gets rewarded for bringing in more "business." The top grant getters get bonuses for the extra "sales deals," and the savings get squeezed out of the workers on the bottom and students trying to pay tuition.

Dave Trabert 4 years, 10 months ago

There are 2,309 employees in that database but it contains pay records for 4 years. There were 613 KU employees who earned more $100,000 in 2012...493 of whom have Professor or Lecturer in their title.

The KU Med Center is listed separately. There were 338 employees who were paid more than $100,000 in 2012...249 of whom have Professor or Lecturer in their title.

elliottaw 4 years, 10 months ago

Those numbers are not just salary, fringe is included in those numbers as well has grants that professors get to pay for the summer months when the university does not pay them. As a KU employee I can tell you now I don't get paid even close to what it has listed.

Dave Trabert 4 years, 10 months ago

There are no fringe benefits included. We requested only payroll amounts for each employee from the Department of Administration.

chootspa 4 years, 10 months ago

And yet something is apparently off with your numbers. Not that you'd object to misleading figures as long as they skewed higher.

elliottaw 4 years, 10 months ago

I know for a fact the numbers are wrong, I know what I make

Dave Trabert 4 years, 10 months ago

If you'd like to write to me at I'll be happy to check this out with KDOA. The amount listed for each employee is what they provided for total pay; not just salary but all forms of pay except for benefits.

footnote2 4 years, 10 months ago

Toe, if the discussion is of university teachers and administrators, the two groups can't be lumped together when it comes to duties and compensation. Teaching faculty members have defined duties and obligations. Unlike administrators, teachers are not allowed to invent themselves and give each other high pay for no other reasons than alleged "market value" and cronyism.

wastewatcher 4 years, 10 months ago

Sebelius appointee and LIBERAL friend Downey is addicted to spending other people's money. Wefald and Hemenway were paid and paid very well to do a job. It is time for some strong regents to be appointed and provide supervision and guidance to the schools. Lets hope the recent appointees have the vision and courage to act and lead, not just kiss the ring of the paid help!

Currahee 4 years, 10 months ago

I don't care if you're a janitor or head of state. You enter public service because you truly want to serve the public. I don't mean give everyone bad wages so that they can barely scrape by, but this is truly excessive don't you think?

Scott Morgan 4 years, 10 months ago

In all seriousness, it's not only university big wigs. This pickpocketing the public is being done at all levels of government.......all including school districts. I know of at least one "super" in the area, long gone I may add whom had two district paid cars at his disposal. Why? Well his wife drove one.

Forget the salaries, it's the hangover of benefits which will haunt us in the long run. Check out Detroit.

"""Brady Deaton retires this fall he’ll direct the Brady and Anne Deaton Institute for University Leadership in International Development on the university’s Columbia campus. He will be paid $200,000.,,,,,,,

Right, but people really need to know about the cash out insurance, lifetime healthcare, club memberships, vehicle and other expenses, special hidden retirement payments.........these add up my friends. Multiply this by all the government employees at this level or below.

These folks are not dumb, kinda like hogs eating in a pen. Try tossing hog slop on one side of the pen and watch what happens. Yes, the hogs all want their share.

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