For all the talk of a cash starved public education establishment in Kansas, somehow the leadership of Kansas City, Kansas Community College found enough dough in the school’s coffers to increase total pay by 11 percent this past year. In at least four instances, the raise was 145 percent or more.
An open records search by the Kansas Policy Institute (KPI), whose numbers have been confirmed by the KCKCC administration, show that among those receiving a healthy raise–hers at 16 percent–was KCKCC “president,” Doris Givens. Her salary jumped by more than many Kansas workers make in a year from $169k to 195k. It is hard to understand why Givens, the first woman and first African-American president of the college, was being rewarded at all, let alone so generously.
In July of this year. after six years at the college, Givens was unceremoniously dumped by the board. More politely, she was placed on “administrative leave” for reasons unexplained. Although Givens is still being paid, the “leave” seems permanent. On its website, under the designation “president,” the college features the smiling photo of Dr. Jacqueline Vietti, now listed as “acting president.” Vietti replaced former acting president Edward Kremer, whose tenure lasted about a week. This means that in the month of July alone KCKCC had three presidents.
The KCKCC Board appears to be as unsettled as the presidency. Board member Wendell Maddox has been publicly challenging the leadership of board chair John Rios. Maddox told KPI that the Board decided to put Givens on paid leave before speaking with her, claiming that Rios launched a review into some reportedly anonymous complaints against Givens “without consulting the full board.”
As to the pay raises, Kaaren Fife, KCKCC’s Director of Institutional Effectiveness, told KPI that “the largest increases are due to employee status reclassification settlement where employees received retroactive pay due to the outcome of a lawsuit.” She added that additional differences were due to employees receiving one-time pay outs for unused sick and/or vacation leave upon leaving the college as well increases due to “additional overload pay.”