The University of Nebraska-Lincoln athletic department has dropped country clubs and health clubs as benefits for administrators, coaches and staffers, and cut back on the number of cars it provides.

The Husker athletic department awarded club memberships to 37 staffers and administrators in 2013 and this year gave out none, according to a list provided by the University of Nebraska’s central administration in Lincoln.

UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green has no club membership, either, whereas in 2013, then-UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman had a membership to the Country Club of Lincoln.

At the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the number of administrators and staffers receiving those perks are somewhat similar to those given in 2013.

Jack Gould of Common Cause, a watchdog organization, called it “a rather remarkable reduction in the number of cars and country club memberships” under UNL Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst. Gould made the records requests this year and in 2013 that led to disclosure of those benefits in the NU system of campuses. The World-Herald covered the 2013 disclosure and published a list of those receiving the benefits.

The money for country clubs and cars typically comes from private sources, such as the NU Foundation and booster clubs.

John Jentz, chief financial officer for the UNL athletic department, said doing away with club memberships and decreasing the number of cars make for a compensation system that is more clear and straightforward. “Everything’s within the contract,” he said.

When people donate to the athletic program, they generally want the money to fund scholarships, academic support, team travel, equipment and medical services, he said. Those items enhance athletes’ experiences as students and competitors, and the donors want to “touch the lives of the student-athletes,” he said.

Further, donors, vendors and others are less likely to talk business these days on country club golf courses, Jentz said. Golf can be too time-consuming, and the discussions can be accomplished over coffee, lunch or breakfast, he said.

Perlman also credited Eichorst with the change. “It was clearly a Shawn initiative, yes,” Perlman said Tuesday evening. “I think Shawn wanted to move to a more transparent system, so we got rid of most of that kind of stuff.”

Twenty-two administrators and staffers have cars or car allowances at UNL, compared to 47 in 2013. Husker football coach Mike Riley doesn’t have a car or a club membership.

Husker coach Bo Pelini in 2013 had a membership at the Country Club of Lincoln. Three years ago, Pelini had a 2012 Nissan Armada, and his wife, Mary Pat, had a 2011 Nissan Quest through the athletic program.

Jentz said the Wheel Club still provides some cars to UNL staffers, but the program isn’t nearly as big as it used to be.

At UNO, Chancellor John Christensen has a “complimentary social membership” provided by Champions Run, just as he did three years ago. Seven people in the UNO athletic department have memberships to various clubs, similar to the situation three years ago.

Christensen has an $800 monthly vehicle allowance. Twenty-three others, all in the UNO athletic department, have cars or monthly car allowances. Three years ago, 27 people at UNO had cars, including the $800 monthly car allowance for Christensen.

Trev Alberts, vice chancellor for athletics at UNO, said in a statement that maintaining those benefits is important to UNO.

“One of the chief missions for UNO is community engagement, and because of the outstanding support of this community, we have been able to stay competitive on a national scale,” he said. “In order to be successful and win championships, we need to hire and keep the best coaches and staff in the country, and we are incredibly grateful to the Omaha community for their support toward that goal.”

A UNO spokesman said club memberships help coaches host events to support their teams and the athletic department, which generates private support for scholarships and other items.

Dorothy Endacott, vice president of the NU Foundation, said vehicles can be a vital element to the university.

“The senior leaders at the university are a critical part of the foundation’s efforts to engage donors,” she said in a written statement. “They travel across the state with our staff and expose alumni and donors to university priorities.

“Donors often want to hear directly from an academic leader if they are going to make a significant gift. The few vehicles and clubs that we do fund for the academic leaders are part of the foundation’s budget, and our budget is funded from unrestricted gifts.”

NU Regent Hal Daub of Omaha said he was satisfied with the way the benefits are being handled. “It’s a lot tighter than it used to be,” he said.

Daub said the regents don’t want to micromanage, but he’s interested in such perks as chairman of the audit, risk and compliance committee. “I watch the beans,” he said.

He said the 2013 report of cars and country club memberships led to the regents to more closely scrutinize those benefits. Nevertheless, he said, Nebraska is a big state for administrators and coaches to travel, and it’s reasonable that the university furnish some cars or allowances.

Country club memberships are beneficial to administrators who are responsible for raising money for their campuses, Daub said. “We want to be very transparent about this.”

UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey Gold “personally paid the initiation fees for social-only memberships” to the Omaha Country Club and Happy Hollow Country Club, the NU information says. “UNMC business events held there are paid for using private funds,” the report states.

Former UNMC Chancellor Harold Maurer had memberships to both clubs, the report says. Maurer also had a 2009 Porsche Cayenne three years ago, while Gold has no vehicle provided by the university.

UNK Chancellor Douglas Kristensen had a Kearney Country Club membership in 2013 but not this year. UNK has five people with cars or $500 vehicle allowances, up from two people in 2013.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1123, rick.ruggles@owh.com, twitter.com/rickruggles

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ADMINISTRATORS

NamePositionSalaryMembershipVehicle or Vehicle Allowance
Hank Bounds NU President$480,000Country Club of Lincoln$800 monthly allowance
John Christensen UNO chancellor$290,000Champions Run**$800 monthly allowance
Doug Kristensen UNK chancellor$250,000  2014 Dodge Durango
Jeffrey Gold, M.D. UNMC chancellor$814,000 Omaha Country Club, Happy Hollow Country Club
Susan Fritz NU executive vice president and provost $289,000  $800 monthly allowance
Joel Pedersen NU vice president and general counsel $273,000  2015 Audi A6
David LechnerNU senior vice president and CFO$305,000 2015 BMW 535xi
Matt HammonsNU interim VP for university affairs $180,000  $800 monthly allowance
Ron YoderNU vice president and IANR vice chancellor $310,000  2014 Lincoln Navigator

Note: Gold personally paid the initiation fees for social-only memberships to both clubs. UNMC business events held there are paid for using private funds.


UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN

Name Position Salary MembershipVehicle or Vehicle Allowance
Holly AdamAssistant AD of ticketing$77,000  2014 Chevrolet Traverse
Chris Anderson Associate AD for community relations$145,000  2016 Chevrolet Traverse
Mike ArthurDirector of strength and conditioning$108,000  2012 Chevrolet Impala
Leslie BargenDevelopment officerNo salary listed 2015 Chevrolet Equinox
Bob BurtonSenior associate AD for facilities and capital planning$203,000 2015 Chevrolet Suburban
Chuck Chmelka Head men's gymnastics coach$62,000  2015 Ford Fusion
John CookHead volleyball coach$600,000  2016 Lexus GX 460
Mike DobbsDevelopment officer$80,000  2016 Honda Pilot
Randy GobelAssistant director for facilities$76,000 2011 Chevrolet Silverado
John IngramAssociate AD for capital planning and construction$125,000 2015 GMC Terrain
Dan KendigHead women's gymnastics coach$118,000  2014 Hyundai Santa Fe
Michael KirbyAssistant head baseball coach$132,000  2015 Chevrolet Tahoe
Alex KringenSenior development officer$82,000 2015 Lincoln MKZ
Dennis Leblan Executive associate AD for academics$204,000 2015 Ford Explorer
Pat LogsdonExecutive associate AD for administration$196,000 2014 Chevrolet Equinox
Keith MannAssistant AD for communications$81,000 2016 Chevrolet Traverse
Mark MayerHead football trainer$157,000  2013 Jeep Cherokee
Pablo MoralesHead women's swimming coach$103,000  2015 Chrysler 200
Jack PierceDevelopment officer$51,000 2014 Chevrolet Equinox
Ted SilvaAssociate head baseball coach, recruiting coordinator $169,000 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe
Jay TerryEquipment manager$68,000 2013 Ford F150
Keith ZimmerSenior associate AD for life skills, N Club$164,000 2015 Chrysler Town & Country

UNIVERSITY OF NEBARSKA AT OMAHA

NamePositionSalaryMembershipVehicle or Vehicle Allowance
Trev AlbertsAthletic director$234,000Omaha Country Club$800 monthly allowance
Matt BeacomAssistant AD for athletic performance$82,000 $250 monthly allowance
Mike KempAssociate athletic director for events and facilities$121,000Shadow Ridge Country Club 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Ann OatmanAssociate AD for internal operations$103,000  2014 Volkswagen Passat
Brent MeyerAssociate AD for financial operations$120,000 2014 Lexus ES300H
Dean BlaisHead hockey coach$275,000Happy Hollow Country Club2014 Nissan Maxima
Leigh Mendelson Assistant hockey coach$90,000The Players Club at Deer Creek2014 Ford Edge
Mike GabinetAssistant hockey coach$120,000 The Players Club at Deer Creek2015 Chevrolet Tahoe
Derrin HansenHead men's basketball coach$150,000Shadow Ridge Country Club2015 Chevrolet Tahoe
Tyler ErwinAssistant men's basketball coach$66,000 2013 Hyundai Sonata
Pat EberhartAssistant men's basketball coach$82,000 2015 Ford Taurus
Brittany LangeHead women's basketball coach$105,000The Players Club at Deer Creek 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Kirk WalkerAssistant women's basketball coach $51,000 2015 Ford Escape SE
Lee AduddellAssistant women's basketball coach$49,000 2013 Toyota Venza
Chris GadsdenAssistant baseball coach$51,000 2015 Ford Fusion
*Jeanne Scarpello Head softball coachNo salary listed 2012 Buick Enclave
*Cory PetermanAssistant softball coachNo salary listed 2014 Chevrolet Equinox
Don KlostermanHead women's soccer coach$70,000 2012 Ford Fusion
Tim WaltersAssistant soccer coach$36,000  2015 Mazda 3
Rose ShiresHead volleyball coach$86,000  2014 Lexus
Karen PovondraAssociate head volleyball coach$69,000  2015 Chrysler 200
Jason MimsHead men's soccer coach$71,000  2015 Toyota 4 Runner

* Scarpello is retired; Peterman is no longer with UNO’s athletic department.

** Complimentary social membership


UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA AT KEARNEY

NamePosition SalaryMembershipVehicle or Vehicle Allowance
Paul PlinskeAthletic director$130,000  $500 monthly allowance
Josh LambersonHead football coach$105,000  2016 Dodge Durango SX
Carrie HofstetterHead women's basketball coach$74,000 $500 monthly allowance
Rick SquiersHead volleyball coach and lecturer$77,000  $500 monthly allowance

Source: University of Nebraska

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