Friday, September 24, 2004

KU releases Perkins’ compensation details


Kansas University officials released details about athletic director Lew Perkins' salary and compensation package during a news conference Friday.

Perkins' contract includes a $1.3 million retention bonus if he stays on the job until June 30, 2009. Money for the bonus - which comes from sources such as television appearances and ticket sales - is being added to an account until the balance reaches the final amount.

"It's not tied to how I do," Perkins said. "It's not an annuity. It's not a deferred income. If I leave tomorrow ... I don't receive any of that money."

"The only way i can receive it is if I'm still employed here June 30, 2009. Then I get that money."

If Perkins does leave KU before June 30, 2009, any money put toward his retention bonus will return to the athletic department.

In addition, Perkins is eligible for a $25,000 annual bonus if Chancellor Robert Hemenway is pleased with the operations of the athletic department. This decision is based on 10 performance objectives, each worth as much as $2,500:

  • Establish a realistic timeline for comprehensive long-range planning for KU's intercollegiate athletics program.
    ¢ Address organization and staffing concerns in compliance, fund raising and sports-medicine units.
    ¢ Make a decision about outsourcing the athletics Web site and athletics department store.
    ¢ Review current ESPN Regional contract and establish goals and options under current deal and a direction for the future.
    ¢ Reach out to constituent groups throughout the region and establish a philosophy that guides the leadership of the athletics department.
    ¢ Identify donor funding to complete the softball complex and review opportunities to find funding for a video board and other enhancement in Allen Fieldhouse.
    ¢ Move forward in fund raising for the new football office complex.
    ¢ Establish a leadership philosophy in the department.
    ¢ Foster a good relationship with local, regional and national media.
    ¢ Audit and determine ways to improve event management, fan experience and overall atmosphere at football games.

Perkins' salary of $545,000 - including $420,000 in base pay, $100,000 in guaranteed multimedia payments and the $25,000 bonus - is broken down in this way: $165,000 in state funds, $210,000 from the KU Athletic Corp. and $170,000 from the KU Endowment Association.

"I think he's worth every penny that he receives," Hemenway said of Perkins.

In reponse to a question about how Perkins' salary compared to that of the Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Hemenway said that Perkins' salary was more than that of both the dean and the chancellor. Hemenway later added that the $165,000 in state funds is less than many KU deans earn.

Other details of Perkins contract include:

  • If his contract is terminated without cause, Perkins will receive an after-tax payment of $216,667 for every full year he has worked at KU, and a part of that amount for each partial year at the university.
    ¢ Perkins' family will receive $216,667 for every full year he has worked at KU in the event of his death.

Both Perkins and Hemenway noted that Perkins wanted to release all details of his salary and compensation when he arrived from Connecticut, but the university wanted him to withhold that information because of how the disclosure might have affected other state employees.

Douglas County Judge Jack Murphy, in a ruling made public Monday, said the Kansas Open Records Act requires disclosure of the documents. He rejected the university's claims that they fall under an exception that would allow them to be withheld. Several news organization had sued the university and the University of Kansas Athletic Corporation for access to the records.

Hemenway said the university did not appeal Murphy's decision because KU did not feel it was necessary.

"We took the law into consideration ... and then we finally came to the conclusion that it wasn't worth it," Hemenway said. "Why shouldn't we let it be made public and let the facts speak for themselves?"

The World Company originally sued to obtain the documents. It later was joined in the suit by the Associated Press and the Kansas Press Assn.

Both Perkins and Hemenway stated that they held no ill will toward The World Company or anyone else involved in the suit.

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