CORRECTED: Bobby Petrino's Exit Makes Mike Anderson Highest Paid State Employee

by Gwen Moritz  on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 12:00 am  

With the sudden departure of Bobby Petrino, who was paid $3.6 million to coach the Arkansas Razorbacks football team, the price tag on the highest-paid state employee has dropped by more than half.

Footnotes Galore
After a 2008 compensation scandal involving Lu Hardin, then president of the University of Central Arkansas, the Arkansas Department of Higher Education began compiling detailed compensation data on certain highly paid college and university employees.

The detailed reports reveal that, in some cases, salary can represent less than half of an employee's total compensation, making rankings more accurate.

But transparency can be complicated. The most recent detailed reports are for the 2012 fiscal year that ended on June 30. Arkansas Business has elected to rank the presidents and chancellors of state-supported colleges and universities as well as athletic department employees by the total compensation included in the detailed reports, which may include nontaxable benefits that are also paid to other state employees. For many of these state employees, base salary information for 2013 is detailed in a footnote.

For most employees, the salary figures are for the current fiscal year. 

(Correction: Oct. 17, 2012: A paragraph describing University of Arkansas Chancellor G. David Gearhart as the third-highest paid state employee has been removed from this article. The UA says it incorrectly included $294,323 that it called deferred compensation in its report on Gearhart's salary filed with the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. Without that payment, Gearhart's total compensation package for 2012 was $588,330, putting him at No. 9 among all state employees. Also, incorrect information on the state's new financial transparency website resulted in three names being included in the list of 120 non-UAMS employees. Their removal makes UA Professor Gary Peters the final name among the 120, a change from the original article.)



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