Board of Regents talks job programs, athletics’ contracts

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (CAPITOL BUREAU) – Kansas leaders are working to bring more transparency to college athletics in the state.

The Kansas Board of Regents met in Lawrence on Wednesday to discuss a variety of issues.

Multi-million dollar contracts are common place for football and basketball coaches at some of the state’s biggest colleges like K-State and KU. The Board of Regents wants to make sure everyone knows what’s in them.

“We’ve had some criticism in the past that a contract that has been made that hasn’t necessarily been public,” said Board Chairman Dennis Mullin.

Board members worried about presidents at universities signing coaches and athletic directors to long contracts that the university will be on the hook for — long after the president is gone.

“We just thought that that was inappropriate that we should slow that down and make sure that it’s looked at at another level and made sure that it’s the right direction for the university,” said Mullin.

The high paying contracts of Division I colleges can be as high as they need to to be competitive, while Division II university contracts can not exceed the CEO at the university.

The Board of Regents is also looking to get students ready for the changing workforce.

They want to find ways to give students specialty skills more quickly.

The board allows state universities to create new majors after a business tells them there is a large need for a specifically skilled worker.

“It’s trying to shorten the process of approval of new programs as you can imagine today’s world, we have to move a lot quicker, both to satisfy the employers of the state but also to satisfy the students,” said Mullin.

“They’ve pushed us to be a little bit more dynamic in our program development side, so we’re very supportive of their efforts to continue to extend expedited programs and make sure we can get the programs approved the citizens of kansas want,” said Pittsburg State University President Steve Scott.

On Wednesday, the board voted to make amendments to the policy. A school would need to justify the reason for the new program and describe how the program would work.

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