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Emporia State employees not among highest paid in state

Highest Paid Employees at Regent Universities
Emporia State University Michael D. Shonrock President $226,153.87
Fort Hays State University Edward H. Hammond Appointive State Agency Head $255,199.94
Pittsburg State University Steven A. Scott President $263,145.72
Wichita State University John W. Bardo President $330,000.00
Kansas State University Kirk H. Schulz President $406,002.12
University of Kansas Sheahon Zenger Director Major Division/School $450,000.00
Source: Some salaries at public universities in Kansas exceed $250,000

In November 2013, an article in The Wichita Eagle stated that 60 employees at various Kansas regent universities made more than $250,000 from July 2012 to June of 2013. None of these, however, included faculty or staff from Emporia State.

A majority of these highly-paid employees could be found at larger universities like the University of Kansas and Kansas State University. Fort Hays State and Pittsburg State also had a couple of employees who made a quarter-million dollars in that time – their presidents, Edward Hammond and Steven Scott, respectively. President John Bardo at Wichita State made $330,000 during that pay year.

However, since that article went out last fall, the salaries of our top professors, deans and administrators, bumped up 2 percent in some parts, according to President Michael Shonrock.

“My beginning compensation at Emporia State University – and we feel very blessed, my wife and I – was $240,000,” Shonrock said. “In the past year, the (Kansas) Board of Regents…had done some research and they looked at the compensation for all of the CEOs and were very kind and recommended increases across the board. So, my base salary now is $251,250.”

Pay rates for public university employees are a matter of public knowledge, so every fiscal year the exact numbers for Kansas’s six public schools – ESU, Fort Hays, Kansas State, Pitt State, the University of Kansas, the University of Kansas Medical Center, and Wichita State – are announced by the Kansa Board of Regents.

ESU’s top employees – according to the Eagle – was Shonrock with a salary of $226,153.87 at the time. Shonrock was followed by Tes Mehring, professor of elementary education, early education and special education, with $150,158.03; and then by John Rich, professor and director of Student Affairs, at $148,480.06. These top salary-makers are followed by Ray Hauke, vice president of Administration and Fiscal Affairs; James Williams, vice president of Student Affairs; Gwen Alexander, dean of the School of Library and Information Management; Michael Lane, professor of the School of Business; Jack Sterrett, professor of the School of Business; Marie Miller, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Barbara Wheeling, associate professor, at $121,720.26.

Several different things can influence how much someone at a university gets paid, including their title (professor v. graduate teacher assistant), tenure and the size of the school.

“University salaries are based on the market rate of salaries at institutions of similar classification, the rank of the position, the discipline a professor is teaching and a professor’s productivity,” said Breeze Richardson, a spokeswoman for KBOR in an interview with the Eagle. “A demand, as in other occupations, for certain kinds of professors (can also impact a paycheck).”

The money that pays ESU’s professors and deans comes from several different locations, but students shouldn’t be worried about their tuition raising to pay off the higher-ups.

“$223,262 comes from university funds, and then $27,788 comes from the foundation,” Shonrock said.

Shonrock also said that several unclassified employees received the 2 percent pay bump that the higher-up employees did.

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