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Education

Murray State Advances Outsourcing Plans, Hires New Football Coach In Quarterly Board Meeting

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Dalton York
/
WKMS

Murray State University’s Board of Regents Friday voted to hire a new head coach for the university’s football team, and authorized President Bob Jackson to negotiate a contract to outsource the university’s custodial and grounds services. 

Outsourcing

The Board is authorizing President Bob Jackson to negotiate a contract to outsource custodial and grounds services at Murray State. The primary driver of this decision hinges on skyrocketing pension costs for employees in the Kentucky Employee Retirement System (KERS). State budget forecasters says agencies employing workers in KERS should expect to pay 93% of the employees salary in pension costs in the coming fiscal year.   

The university community heard from four companies vying for this contract last week. Those companies are being rated by a university committee. 

Murray State currently employs 47 custodial workers and 17 grounds employees, however many positions have not been filled for months as the university works to limit its pension liability. The university has 41 vacant positions in the custodial area and six in the grounds department.

The 10-1 vote allows Dr. Jackson to negotiate and sign a contract not to exceed $4,410,669 for custodial services for fiscal year 20/21 and 1,546,076 for ground services. If the President approves a combined contract for both services, it is not to exceed $5,956,745. 

The university hasn’t started negotiations, but Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services, Jackie Dudley believes the university could see a savings between $400,000-$1,000,000 in the first year of the contract. 

President Jackson says this decision will preserve jobs as the state pension costs increase it serves as a viable way to actually increase jobs at Murray State University.

“Any time you make a decision of this magnitude, it’s a difficult decision,” Jackson said. “This is a major change.”

Head Football Coach

University of Kentucky special teams coordinator Dean Hood is the incoming coach for the Racer football team. The Board unanimously approved a three-year contract for Hood at an annual salary of $190,000. Hood has served as head coach at Eastern Kentucky University and defensive coordinator at Wake Forest University. 

“Dean Hood is a man of character and integrity who possesses a tremendous work ethic and unique ability to advance our football program,” said Kevin Saal, Director of Athletics. “I look forward to partnering with him to accomplish our shared vision for the program…to develop leaders of character, competence and consequence, for football and 40+ years of life beyond football.

Hood’s appointment comes after the removal of Mitch Stewart. WKMS previously reported Stewart was reassigned to another position in the athletic department after four consecutive seasons with losing records

Saal said he was “pleasantly surprised” at the level of interest and high quality of applications for the position. 

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