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No Specific Duties Outlined In Consulting Deal With Former Kansas University Chancellor Gray-Little

Sam Zeff
KCUR 89.3

Since it was revealed that former University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was still on the payroll as a consultant, there have been questions about exactly what she is doing for her $510,000 salary.

The answer? Nothing specific.

KCUR made a Kansas Open Records Act request for the agreement between Gray-Little and the Board of Regents. The consulting deal was outlined in a letter dated Sept. 16, 2016 and signed by Blake Flanders, president and CEO of the Regents. Flanders wrote, "As a result of your efforts and leadership" KU "made significant progress" toward goals set by the Regents. "For this, we are genuinely grateful, as I know the many KU constituencies are."

The deal was struck about a week before Gray-Little announced her retirement.

The agreement says Gray-Little will assist the new chancellor and raise money for the KU Endowment  "subject to your calendar."

In return, Gray-Little received a year's salary of $510,000 plus all of her university paid health, dental and disability benefits. The Regents also paid for moving out of the chancellor's on campus residence and Strong Hall office. The consulting deal runs until June 30. After that, Gray-Little may continue to work at KU "in a faculty position or otherwise."

Gray-Little was replaced by Doug Girod, who had served executive vice chancellor at the KU Medical Center since 2013. He's been with KU since 1994 when he joined the faculty at KU Med.

About half of Gray-Little's consulting deal is being paid with state funds the rest from the KU Endowment.

She is not the first chancellor to be kept on as a consultant. Robert Hemenway received two years salary when he retired, according to the Lawrence Journal-World.

KCUR asked for comment from KU and the KU Endowment but did not immediately hear back.

Sam Zeffis KCUR's Metro Reporter. You can follow Sam on Twitter @samzeff

You deserve to know what your taxpayer dollars are paying for and what public officials are doing on your behalf – I’ll work to report on irresponsible government spending in the Kansas City area and shed light on controversies that slow government down. And when you hear my voice in the morning, you know you’re getting everything you need to start your day. Email me at sam@kcur.org, find me on Twitter @samzeff or call me at 816-235-5004.
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