After being considered for several other university executive jobs, a former KU administrator has been picked to lead the University of California Riverside, the Los Angeles Times reports today.
Kim Wilcox, a former dean of KU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as well as a former president of the Kansas Board of Regents, still has to be confirmed by regents before he'll officially become chancellor at UC Riverside. He left KU in 2005 to become the provost at Michigan State University, where he stayed until this summer.
Much to my confusion, Wilcox earlier this year was a public finalist to be the executive at two different public universities that go by the abbreviation "UW," the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Wyoming. He was also the candidate for another executive job, the chancellorship at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, in 2012.
UC Riverside has about 22,000 students. Wilcox's boss will be Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano when she becomes president of the University of California system in September.
Leading a university is a pretty big job, I suppose, but I'd argue that no job is more important than that of a Heard on the Hill tipster. You can apply by sending a KU news tip to email@example.com.
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KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was the 86th-highest-paid public university executive in 2011-12, according to a report published this week by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Her total compensation of just more than $475,000 was an increase of about 0.8 percent from the previous year.
The Chronicle's report analyzed the total compensation for the chief executives at 191 different public universities and university systems around the country for the 2012 fiscal year — roughly equivalent to the 2011-12 academic year. Four different executives made more than $1 million during that year. (For perspective: 36 different executives at private universities topped the $1 million mark during the 2010 calendar year.)
The highest-paid public-university executive for the year was Graham Spanier, who was fired in November 2011 as president at Pennsylvania State University because of "insufficient action" related to the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse allegations and now faces felony charges related to the Sandusky case. Under the circumstances, his big payday sounds pretty crazy, but it makes sense if you look at the details: Spanier had served in the job for 16 years, he was already the third-highest paid executive the year before and most of the $2.9 million he earned in 2011-12 came from severance and deferred compensation spelled out by his contract.
Because the Chronicle analysis looks at total compensation and not just annual salaries, it includes things such as severance, retirement payouts and deferred compensation packages. That's one reason there are some university leaders near the top of the list that seem to be head-scratchers. (Auburn? George Mason? Ball State?)
Gray-Little received about $429,000 in base pay (ranking 60th nationally), according to the Chronicle, plus retirement pay and $25,000 in annual deferred compensation that she is to receive whenever she leaves the job. (UPDATE: As KU spokesman Jack Martin pointed out to me, some of that pay comes from private donations and not state funds. For the 2012 fiscal year, about $267,000 of Gray-Little's salary was paid by state funds.)
Among the 10 institutions that KU leaders consider "peer universities," her compensation ranked seventh. Her pay ranked below that for former KU provost Richard Lariviere as president of the University of Oregon, but the bulk of his $485,000 in compensation came from a severance payment he received when he was fired. She ranked below two different Penn State presidents, because Rodney Erickson earned nearly $550,000 after he replaced Spanier.
Other Kansas executives included in the report were Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz, who ranked 131st with about $396,000 in compensation; and Donald Beggs, who retired in June 2012 as president of Wichita State University and ranked 182nd with about $303,000.
Gray-Little does receive one benefit that the Chronicle reports is not included in the numbers because it's tough to quantify: She lives in a university-owned home (and has a university-owned car). The KU chancellor's residence, known as the Outlook, is worth about $2.4 million, according to the Chronicle.
Those salary numbers can be interesting to poke around in, though I probably need to pull myself away now. Help me do that by sending a KU news tip to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Happy Thanksgiving break, KU students and others who've left campus for the rest of the week. Heard on the Hill will keep chugging along today, just in case you need an excuse to tune out a long-winded family member or need something to do during your three-hour airport layover.
In her third monthly "fireside chat" with the University Daily Kansan this semester, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little commented on a couple of issues we've addressed in this space: post-tenure review and the American Association of University Professors faculty survey results released last week.
On the survey, Gray-Little told the Kansan she was "surprised that our faculty feels that they don't have a voice in governance." She put forth a similar theory to that which I heard from University Senate president Chris Crandall: that the number of far-reaching changes being pursued by the administration right now (the "Changing for Excellence" efficiency measures, the new undergraduate curriculum and other things laid out in the "Bold Aspirations" plan) might be making some faculty uncomfortable.
"A lot of things are going on right now, and maybe that makes it hard for people to feel they're in their comfort zone," Gray-Little said.
(One more thing about that survey: Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, the associate professor of aerospace engineering who handled much of the work, said that the range of responses that came in were wide: some faculty gave the university "D" or "F" grades on every question, some gave nearly all "A's," and others fell somewhere in the middle. So not all faculty feel their voices aren't being heard, but some do apparently strongly feel that way.)
And on the topic of post-tenure review, Gray-Little sounded positive about the process of putting it in place, as have most folks I've heard from about this lately. She said the Faculty Senate's efforts to make members' feelings heard about post-tenure review indicated a "positive approach."
Also in the interview, the chancellor addressed Gov. Sam Brownback's comments last week about higher-education funding, as well as her plans for Thanksgiving.