Originally published April 27, 2020 at 09:19a.m., updated April 27, 2020 at 03:39p.m.

KU administrators, Self, Miles and Long to take 6-month pay cut amid COVID-19 pandemic

Kansas chancellor Doug Girod and Athletics Director Jeff Long talk before the game Saturday afternoon at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Aug. 31, 2019.

Kansas chancellor Doug Girod and Athletics Director Jeff Long talk before the game Saturday afternoon at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Aug. 31, 2019.


Updated story (April 29): Administrative pay cut at KU will save nearly $280,000 less than initially thought

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The University of Kansas has joined colleges around the country in implementing a temporary pay cut for high-ranking administrators to mitigate some of the coming losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly 40 officials at the Lawrence, Edwards and KU Medical Center campuses, in addition to the three highest-paid athletics officials, will take a 10% pay cut over the next six months, Chancellor Douglas Girod announced Monday.

Girod said the temporary cuts will generate $853,000 to be reallocated at the university level. Salary reductions for men's basketball coach Bill Self, football coach Les Miles, and Athletic Director Jeff Long will generate an additional $500,000 for the athletic department.

"During our tenure we’ve had our ups and downs, but these turbulent times are unprecedented and the immediate future is unknown," Self said in a statement. "These times are serious, but temporary, and it’s everyone’s hope that we can return to a safe and prosperous time soon."

The salary reductions were the only concrete move Girod announced Monday. Though he said that all options must be on the table in addressing the financial challenges of the pandemic, it's unknown whether staff furloughs or layoffs will be needed at KU, as they have been at many universities across the country.

"While it’s still too early to know the full impact of the pandemic, it is clear KU will need to adopt new business models, reorganize and restructure to be more efficient, and implement long-term reductions to address the financial aftermath of COVID-19," Girod said in a written message to campus.

Girod individually makes $581,250 annually, according to state payroll data. Self's individual salary surpasses $5 million annually, Miles makes $2.75 million annually, and Long makes $1.5 million annually — $200,000 paid by the university, with the remaining $1.3 million paid by private funds from Kansas Athletics Inc.

Projecting future enrollment numbers, as well as setting tuition rates for the coming academic year, can't yet happen with any certainty, Girod said.

"We remain committed to protecting our people — particularly our most vulnerable populations — to the greatest extent possible," Girod said in the announcement.

The campus leaders affected by the temporary pay cut include 26 members of Girod's cabinet, vice provosts, and school deans at the Lawrence campus, in addition to 12 senior leaders and school deans at the medical center.

Girod has regularly estimated, and reiterated again Monday, that KU will lose somewhere in the range of "tens of millions" of dollars during the pandemic.


Dirk Medema 2 years, 2 months ago

Noble leadership move though I’m not following the numbers. I thought Coach Self made $5M and Miles $2M. Ten percent of those alone are $500k + $200k is greater than $500k and almost the $853k total for the university.

Robert Brown 2 years, 2 months ago

If I read correctly, this applies for only six months.

Tim Orel 2 years, 2 months ago

I think the amounts are also skewed because of the two sources of funding, with both public and private funding. The amount the athletic department gives back to the University isn't going to include any pay cut they take from the private funds - those would need to stay private and the public funds are what the University can re-purpose to non-athletic (or athletic purposes).

Dale Rogers 2 years, 2 months ago

The 853K is for non-athletic dept employees and therefore does not include Long, Self, Miles.

Thomas Wagner 2 years, 2 months ago

The athletic department could save even more money by just ending this ugly lawsuit with the ex-football coach. I can't even say his name he was that bad, but what they are trying to do now is ugly for the university and will ultimately end up costing them more than just paying him off.

500k athletic department savings on a 100m budget is a drop in the bucket and another PR move by AD Long. I'm really beginning to wonder if he is the right man for the job.

Mark Bowers 2 years, 2 months ago

I wonder if these poor coaches and admin are going to have to resort to the Dave Ramsey budget method? To me this reads as a precursor to massive lay offs and furloughs that are about to come to those involved in actual educational dealings of the university. I agree it's a PR stunt. I too think Long is suspect. I think his heart can be found in a wallet/payday and that may be necessary to be a power 5 AD? I don't agree with it and that's just my POV on the matter.

Dirk Medema 2 years, 2 months ago

On a different side of the story, I wonder how much is being saved by the coaches not flying all over the country on recruiting trips?

Things really get turned upside down though if FB is played in empty stadiums. Maybe the home crowd factor could less of an offset for KU if they require social distancing and only let people occupy every second or third seat. Maybe we could get a “full house”.

If it continues to BB, would it still be considered a sellout if only 8,000 fans are in the Phog?

David Robinett 2 years, 2 months ago

This can help pay for the Beaty legal fees, too

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