KU’s Girod gets 6% pay raise for next academic year; Regents also approve tuition, fee increases

photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-World

University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly were both on hand for an opening ceremony of KU Innovation Park's newest research and office building on Aug. 17, 2022.

KU’s chancellor will have a salary of nearly $700,000 next academic year, as the Kansas Board of Regents on Thursday approved a raise well above what rank-and-file KU employees are set to receive.

University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod received a 6% pay raise as the Regents — who oversee all the state’s public universities — approved new pay packages for leaders at Kansas State, Wichita State, Fort Hays State, Emporia State and Pittsburg State at their monthly meeting.

As part of their approval, the Regents didn’t state the new salary for Girod, but based on past salary figures provided by the Regents, the 6% raise amounts to a $39,000 increase, taking Girod’s base salary to $694,000 for the year.

For the second year in a row, Girod has received a salary increase that significantly exceeds what faculty members and staff at KU are set to receive. State legislators approved a 2.5% wage increase for most university employees. Some KU employees may receive additional pay increases, as the university starts to make wage adjustments to bring certain positions up to market rates. A KU study estimates university employees have wages that are $27 million below the prevailing wage rates in the region or compared to other national research universities. KU has said closing that wage gap is a priority, but also hasn’t been able to project how many years it will take to address the issue.

Regents on Thursday said little about their reasoning for the size of the increase they gave Girod and the other university CEOs. Each university president received a wage increase of at least 4%, with Girod and Pittsburg State President Dan Shipp topping the chart at 6% each.

Regents conducted their evaluations of Girod and the university presidents in closed-door executive sessions. Regent Wint Winter was the only Regent to make any comments as part of the vote. He thanked the university leaders for how they handled the issues of campus protests, which had roiled the likes of Harvard, Columbia and other major institutions.

“It shows me how valuable it is to have the six leaders that we have that they did not let themselves get into those kind of fixes,” Winter said, referring to the protest movements that happened at many of the country’s most prestigious universities. “You might think it is easy to stay out of those troubles, but I think we have a really high performing group among our presidents and chancellor.”

Girod received a 4% pay raise at the beginning of the last academic year. KU has had a number of notable moments during the last academic year that have drawn praise from Regents previously. The last freshmen class at KU was the largest in the university’s history, and total enrollment reached its highest level since 2010. Those gains come during a time period where universities across the country have been fighting downward enrollment trends.

The university’s medical center in Kansas City won $75 million in state funding from the Legislature for a major new cancer research and treatment center. KU won the state funding after lining up private donors to match the state funding. The university also won tens of millions of additional state dollars for a new medical campus it is building in downtown Wichita, in partnership with Wichita State.

Looking forward, Girod recently told the Journal-World that he thinks overall enrollment at KU will increase again in the fall. While the freshman class may not top the 5,200 mark of last year’s record class, Girod said he thinks it will exceed 5,000 new freshmen.

Other pay raises approved by the Regents include:

• K-State President Richard Linton, 4% increase to $588,000;

• WSU President Rick Muma, 4% increase to $520,000;

• Fort Hays State President Tisa Mason, 4% increase to $331,000;

• Pittsburg State President Dan Shipp, 6% increase to $303,000

• Emporia State President Ken Hush, 5% increase to $300,000

• Kansas Regents President and CEO Blake Flanders, 5% increase to $294,000.

In other business, Regents gave final approval to new tuition and fee schedules at each of the universities. As reported, the Regents gave preliminary approval to the new tuition and fee schedules at last month’s meeting. All but one of the schools, Emporia State, raised tuition and fees for the next year.

The following shows how much undergraduate, in-state tuition alone will change at the schools, while the second number is a more comprehensive measure of both tuition and required fees at each school.

• KU: tuition up 3.5%; tuition and fees up 5% to $6,141 per semester;

• KSU: tuition up 2.8%; tuition and fees up 2.5% to $5,610 per semester;

• WSU: tuition up 3.9%; tuition and fees up 3.9% to $4,841 per semester;

• ESU: no change in tuition; tuition and fees down 3.4% to $3,547 per semester;

• PSU: tuition up 3.5%; tuition and fees up 3% to $4,200 per semester;

• FHSU: tuition up 6.0%; tuition and fees up 5.2% to $2,964 per semester.


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