Kansas State President Kirk Schulz is getting a $60,000 raise.
Pay increases for Schulz and the top administrators at the state’s other five public universities will start July 1 after the Kansas Board of Regents approved them Thursday.
Schulz’s salary will be $460,000, a 15 percent increase from the $400,000 he had been making. That is tied for the highest increase along with University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, who will make $492,650.
The money for Schulz’s increase will come from the KSU Foundation, just as the increase for all top administrators will be funded by their respective universities’ foundations.
Curt Frasier, chairman of the KSU Foundation board of directors, said full funding of the president’s raise through the foundation is becoming more typical due to the restraints of the state system. He called the $60,000 increase a “minor investment” to ensure the proper direction of the university continues.
“President Schulz has really demonstrated great leadership at Kansas State University, and in fact has probably been our greatest fundraiser,” Frasier said.
Regent chair Tim Emert said the increases reflected the board’s trust and commitment to the chief executives. “We appreciate the foundations’ assistance because without the financial contributions of the foundations, the board would not be able to bring the CEO salaries to competitive levels,” he said.
The decision comes at a time when the subject of pay increases for university employees — especially as they relate to top administrators — has been contentiously debated on campus.
In May, 511 faculty and unclassified employees at KSU signed a resolution calling for a moratorium on upper administrative pay increases and the creation of new administrative positions until the salaries of faculty and unclassified professionals reached the median of their peer groups. KSU administrators have a three-year merit-based plan in place to raise faculty and staff salaries, including a 2-percent merit increase pool each year, starting in fiscal year 2014.
But Schulz wouldn’t commit to the idea of a moratorium. He said the university would have “our hands tied” by a promise not to create new administrative positions.
The faculty resolution asserted that over the past few years, faculty salaries had increased four percent, while lower administration salaries had increased 11 percent, dean salaries had increased 43 percent and upper administration salaries had increased 34 percent.
Regent vice-chair Fred Logan, in a visit to the KSU campus Tuesday, defended administrative salary increases. It said it was “absolutely critical” to take care of leadership to keep them at universities.