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Is Lew Perkins’ $545,000 salary and $1.3 million retention bonus adequate, or is he underpaid?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 25, 2004

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Photo of Brad Montgomery

“I think that it is a ridiculous sum. He makes more money than the president. I think that free tickets to the games should be enough.”

Photo of Daniel Scannell

“I think it is too soon to judge if he is doing a good job. We will see if he is worth it.”

Photo of Morgan Frame

“I think it is outrageous. They need to pay teachers more. The sports program is doing just fine whether he’s there or not.”

Photo of Nick Theobald

“If that is underpaid, then I am living under a bridge. I guess it isn’t as much as they pay the director at Texas A&M, but it is still unnecessary.”


mrcairo 13 years, 7 months ago

Savage, I'll need an assistant, at $125,000.

Want the job?

jonas 13 years, 7 months ago

Underpaid? Did the LJWorld just make a joke?

lunacydetector 13 years, 7 months ago

They should pay the poor players who make this guy rich and fat!

Richard Heckler 13 years, 7 months ago

I don't know how the athletic dept can function with an under paid leader. The $1.3 million tax free dollars which then actually totals $2.11 million cuz somebody has to pay the taxes some of which must explain the extraordinary increase in ticket prices this year. It's no wonder Lew thinks more home basketball games must be played in Kansas City. That $2.11 million is a damn good incentive for that kind of thinking.

Is the Univ. of Conn sports program now going to fail since we have the best AD in the country on the KU payroll? That poor school.

Now I fully understand why the parents of almost 30,000 students allow their chilren to attend KU. It has nothing to do with academics or the teaching staff. I do believe it is odd that some of the best academic universities in the nation are rarely discussed in the who's who on the sports page.

I have nothing against a good sports program. Some of these coaches and AD's must secretly think that academic institutions have lost their minds as they come begging with a touch of bribery for their services. Cars, pick up mortgage payments, country club memberships, health insurance and a generous bonus package how can they say no.

Roy Williams was not a head coach yet KU had a great 15 years...makes you wonder what North Carolina offered him???

Savage 13 years, 7 months ago

Yeah... Underpaid for sure. He should be making at least 5 million. Thats gotta suck when you can only afford an 80k Jaguar and not a 200k limited edition Farrari. Oh... and that new sub-division in west Lawrence where homes go for 400-500k...jeesh, If he can't pay that off in cash in one year, thats just plain wrong and proves he's definitely underpaid. Single Season tickets.....thats weak too... he should get a whole section of the bleachers for his whole family! Whats going on these days? What cheapskates!

Good question ljw!

JHAWKGURL 13 years, 7 months ago

I am appalled! (did I spell that right?) I cannot even believe that someone is paid that amount!!! Our schools are having budget issues and here is our university paying out this kind of cash??? DONATE!!!! Our public schools extra curricular activites to keep kids out of trouble after school are in jepordy! I know children whose families could not afford to even send them to some of the basketball camps at KU and here is someone on their payroll making more in one year than some indivduals who work their A*SES off make in 20 years!!!!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE???????? I agree with mrcairo....I bet he is a LOUSY LOUSY tipper. He probably thinks in his mind that the waitress needs to WORK HARD for a good 15% tip! All I have to say is WHATEVER!!!!

nicegirl 13 years, 7 months ago

I don't blame Perkins, as Hi_jinks said most people would love to be paid that much. However, I definitely think there is something wrong when so much money goes to the athletic programs and teachers get paid next to nothing. Priorities are way off here. The average KU grad only made $24,900 last year. His bonuses are bigger than that. I'm not saying that the sports program doesn't provide a ton of money to the school, but I don't think it's necessary for one person to make such a huge chunk of the budget.

mrcairo 13 years, 7 months ago

Tell ya what, KU, are you listening?

Pay me $250,000.00 a year and I'll give the same results as Lew-Boy or your money back.

Hold the money in a damn account and if I don't match his performance, whatever the hell that is, you can have the money back.

That's a solid offer - and I'm waiting for your response.

Savage 13 years, 7 months ago

Cairo... I hope they take your offer. The coaches and recruiters, and players make the teams. Why should a guy get paid that much for administration. Heck... the President of the United States only makes what? ... 150k or so? Im sure there are just as qualified people for the job who would be happy with 100k a year, health insurance and a company car...thats it.

redbird 13 years, 7 months ago

A $25,000 dollar bonus....hmmm,that in itself is more than the average salary of all the workers that clean,paint,beautify the yards and landscape,keep the water and toilets running,the lights and all electrical most cases,that is up to$10,000 more and that is just his bonus!!!!....Do they get bonuses???No ...Do they get a car,a membership of any kind??? Hey KU spread the green a little more evnly!!!!!!!!!

ber 13 years, 7 months ago

This IS a joke! To respond to redbird, the $25K is not only more than the Operations people make - that's more than most of the KU support staff AND many research staff get paid!

No WONDER my raise was only 1.5% deferred for 6 months 2 years ago and 0% for the year before and the years after - they were planning the hiring of 'ol Lew!!

I'm glad KU knows where their priorities are! Cough.

mrcairo 13 years, 7 months ago

Totally too much.

You've got a very few people making tons of money up at KU and the rest of the staff is underpaid.

Take a look around, at other universities. Check out what they pay their workers. Compare and contrast. It's rediculous.

I bet he's a lousy tipper too.

JHAWKGURL 13 years, 7 months ago

wow really just made me depressed! I am feeling that I am pretty underpaid!!! He makes more in a day than I make in a month!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi_Jinks 13 years, 7 months ago

Nice way to phrase a question, LJ World! Yeah, like anyone is going to say that he's "underpaid"!! I can't prove it, obviously, but somehow I get the feeling that because it took the LJ World soooo long to get ahold of Perkins' salary information, wrangling with legal issues/struggles and all.......I do believe that the LJ World has some sort of chip on its shoulder, and an ax to grind concerning "all things Perkins". Thus the rather "inflammatory" type/worded question of the day.

Perkins came from one highly successful program (UConn) to another (KU). In the world of college sports, success equals big bucks for any university. Especially success in football and basketball.--And that includes women's basketball!!! This whole situation is what you call supply and demand. Few college AD's can match Perkins' success when he was at UConn, and big-time universities like KU are forever looking to get back on top sportswise, and schools like KU (obviously) are willing to pay big bucks to get a person like Perkins to come to their school and help lead them to "The Promised Land". Hey, don't blame Perkins in all of this, folks! He was in demand, and he went to the highest bidder. What's wrong with that? Many of you out there would have done the same thing in his shoes!!!

Also, I do believe that his (and KU's)reluctance to discuss personal salaries has more to do with the public taking a negative knee-jerk reaction towards his salary as compared to KU faculty and staff. The inclination for many to say: "Why does an AD get paid more than a professor?", is such a naive thing to say and or think in this day and age of college sports. C'mon, folks! Get with it! Sports=money. It takes money to make money (just like the stock market). KU knows it has to fork over the bucks to have a chance at athletic success--and the huge financial windfall(s) that come with it.

If Perkins' salary rubs you the wrong way, fine. But get used to it. Because just like the singer/songwriter Bruce Hornsby once said..... "That's just the way it is..."

craigers 13 years, 6 months ago

That is making $62 an hour, just on his base pay and saying that he works 24 hours a day. That is rediculous. I really don't feel he or anybody is worth that much to a program. I could see a coach being worth that before his.

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