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KU chancellor getting part-time driver

Published on -9/3/2012, 1:47 PM

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little will be able to keep her eyes on her work instead of the road when a newly hired part-time driver begins taking her to and from some out-of-town appointments.

Retired Douglas County sheriff's deputy Robin Moore has been hired for the job and will start Sept. 10 on an as-needed basis at a salary of $20 per hour, Mary Burg, the chancellor's executive assistant, told The Lawrence Journal-World (http://bit.ly/NHfobR ).

Gray-Little will still drive herself around Lawrence and to some out-of-town appointments, so Moore's probable schedule remains unknown. But Burg said the university is estimating he'll work about 15 hours a week.

"We're trying this out. We've never done this before, so we don't know how many hours this will end up being," she said.

Gray-Little will use the driver chiefly for the roughly 80-mile round trips to KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., where she spends at least one day a week. She also travels to the university's Edwards Campus in Overland Park, about 30 miles from Lawrence.

The suggestion to hire a part-time driver came from the Kansas Board of Regents. Regent Ed McKechnie, of Arcadia, said the board has been working with the chief executives of the state's public universities on time-management strategies to help them become more productive.

"We're not paying (the chancellor) to circle the block 20 times looking for a parking spot," McKechnie said.

Jack Martin, a University of Kansas spokesman, said the driver will be used primarily when the chancellor has more than one appointment in a day in the Kansas City area.

For some trips to the airport in Kansas City, KU had been hiring a car service for the chancellor at $100 per hour.

"At least for the airport travel, that's going to save some money," Burg said.

McKechnie said regents do encourage Kansas State President Kirk Schulz and Fort Hays State President Ed Hammond to make use of university aircraft to cut down on travel time, though neither has a driver.

Officials at the University of Iowa, the University of Missouri and Iowa State University all said that they do not employ drivers for their university leaders. But Martin said Gray-Little had heard from peers at the University of Texas-Austin and the University of Virginia who did use drivers.

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Information from: Lawrence Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com

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