KU chancellor joins other university leaders in giving back pay raise

The Kansas University chancellor will join other state university CEOs in donating her raise back to the university, a KU spokeswoman said today.

Bernadette Gray-Little regularly makes gifts to KU that exceed her annual salary increase and plans to do so this year as well, spokeswoman Erinn Barcomb-Peterson said. She declined to answer specifically what fund or funds the chancellor donates to.

KU has not yet determined whether other university employees will get raises this year, Barcomb-Peterson said. KU is still working through its budget numbers but expects to release that information soon, she said.

The Kansas Board of Regents — citing a desire to keep university CEO salaries competitive in the market — approved 2 percent raises to the base pay of Gray-Little and other university presidents last week.

Gray-Little’s salary would go up to $510,040, an increase of $10,000.

New base salaries for other university presidents will be as follows: Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz, $476,290; Wichita State University President John Bardo, $357,178; Fort Hays State University President Mirta Martin, $265,200; and Pittsburg State University President Steve Scott, $263,357.

Emporia State University’s interim president Jacqueline Vietti was not included in the Regents action.

Schulz said in a statement that he would give his increase back to the campus because he didn’t think it was appropriate to take a raise when the rest of K-State’s faculty and staff wouldn’t receive one.

A Wichita State spokesman said Bardo didn’t intend to keep the salary increase and would likely use it toward something else at the university.

Martin said she wouldn’t take a raise while Fort Hays State continues looking for ways to provide pay raises to faculty and staff.

Scott said he contacted the Pittsburg State business office about delaying his increase until “such time as we have put into place raises for the remainder of the campus,” according to a statement posted Friday to the school’s Facebook page. “If that is not allowed because of the board action, I will gift the increase back to the campus in the form of student scholarships.”