In an article on Monday, April 23, the Sentinel asked in its headline, “Do Students Know Faculty In Cash-Strapped Kansas Are Getting Rich?”
Among the observations in that article was that seven employees of public universities in Kansas make more $500,000 a year. As we noted, “Although she resigned a year earlier, former KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little is still listed as receiving $511,341 in her capacity as ‘Special Advisor.'”
The Sentinel was working off the research on salaries done by the Kansas Policy Institute.
The Lawrence Journal-World followed up on the Sentinel article on Thursday. The Journal-World’s Joanna Hlavacek made a pointed observation after contacting Gray-Little. “It is unclear exactly what Gray-Little has done in her role as special adviser,” wrote Hlavacek. “When reached via telephone, she would not answer any questions but simply referred the reporter to KU or the Board of Regents.”
On Saturday, April 28, Star editors asked in their headline, “KU has been paying former Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little her $510K salary. For what, exactly?”
“Forgive us,” ask the editors, “but those who are less schooled in such negotiations are finding it difficult to grasp how not working as chancellor is somehow of equal value as actually being the chancellor.”
Historically, the Star editors have portrayed the Kansas legislators and governor as Scrooges to higher education’s Tiny Tim. They acknowledge now that Gray-Little’s salary cause problems with “optics.” Imagine, for instance, Tiny Tim with a Mercedes stashed away in a private garage. Like Gray-Little’s salary, that kind of “optics” tends to kill the narrative.
Encouragingly, from the Sentinel’s perspective, the Star editors note that Gray-Little windfall “has irked enough legislators that it might undercut the [Board of Regents’] efforts to gain more funding for student needs.”
The legislators should be irked. Gray-Little’s salary is not an anomaly. As the Sentinel has been documenting for more than a year–with the help of the Kansas City Polity Institute–the Board of Regents has been allowing universities to spend money as though they inherited it.
Nearly 300 employees of these universities make more than $200,000 a year.
Although many of these are physicians at the University of Kansas Medical Center, most of them are not.
What makes this more disturbing is that universities, KU most notably, are hotbeds of leftwing activism. One would think that these wannabe Marxists would be most upset to see their administrators move into the “one percent” on the backs of working Kansas taxpayers.
If they are, they certainly have not shown it. They have left it to their legislators–and maybe even the media?–to be upset for them.