During the September Kansas Board of Regents meeting, it was announced that Blake Flanders, CEO of KBOR, would be receiving a 15 percent salary increase. While he’s gaining money, colleges are receiving constant budget cuts.
While 15 percent may not seem like a lot at first, but the adjustment of salary, from $200,000 to $230,000 is enough to pay for a full-time instructor. In fact, some full-time instructors are paid less.
This news comes at a time when budget cuts, on every level, are rampant. Colleges are suffering across the country. There’s no getting around the fact that higher education is hurting and we need better funding. This also came right after collegiate faculty across the state were denied the 2.5 percent increase that was given to all other state employees. Even though many faculty members have glowing merit letters and stellar student reviews, they still aren’t receiving a raise.
We all need to be in this together.
If Flanders is receiving a 15 percent increase, then a 15 percent increase needs to go to faculty, staff, custodians and instructors, too.
The excuse that this brings Flanders salary “in line with other regent presidents” makes no sense. It doesn’t recognize that we’re all in Kansas. Together.
Additionally, the businessification of KBOR is disturbing. This added salary to the CEO represents how KBOR is moving towards the business model, where executives always get the lion’s share of the rewards. It’s removing the fact that KBOR is in charge of colleges, and it’s not a business. It’s dehumanizing.
The KBOR CEO should receive no salary increase unless faculty and staff receive an increase and it’s universal across all institutions in Kansas. The KBOR CEO does hard work, but they’re not directly suffering from the budget cuts colleges are seeing. While we’re losing money, he’s gaining it. In the meantime, Flanders should turn over his raise for scholarships or subsidize tuition. Instead of accepting this increase, he needs to give it back to the students to help them in some way.