UAMS Doctors Earn Top Government Salaries

Chairman of Neurosurgery Leads List With $340,000

Doctors and professors at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock are the highest-paid state government employees, with 48 having an annual salary goal of more than $200,000.

Dr. Ossama Al-Mefty, the chairman of neurosurgery, is the highest-paid state employee with a salary goal of $340,000. Al-Mefty, known internationally for his work in skull-base brain tumors, joined the staff at UAMS in 1993 after serving at the University of Loyola in Chicago.

One other UAMS physician, Dr. Stephen Van Devanter, an associate professor of surgery, has a salary goal of more than $300,000.

A salary goal, as much as three times a doctor's base salary, allows the university to pay faculty members based on the number of patients the doctor brings to UAMS.

No state employee outside the UAMS campus makes more than $160,000. There may be more than 100 doctors at UAMS with salary goals that exceed $160,000.

So, for the third year Arkansas Business also includes a list of the highest-paid state government workers who aren't employed at UAMS.

Doyle Williams, the dean of business administration at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, tops the second list with a salary of $158,519. B. Alan Sugg, president of the University of Arkansas system, has led the list the last two years. He earns $142,000.

About one-third of Williams' salary comes from the Sam Walton Leadership Chair. That additional income was one reason the university was able to persuade Williams in 1993 to leave his position as dean of the school of accounting and acting dean of the college of business administration at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, says Donald Pederson, UA vice chancellor for academic affairs.

"Without the endowment included in his salary, there's absolutely no way we could have attracted him to Arkansas," Pederson says.

Neil Schmitt, dean of the college of engineering, earns $130,909. He's held the position for about 10 years and was responsible for the opening of the new engineering building at Fayetteville, Pederson says.

"And he's one reason for the tremendous growth at the college of engineering," Pederson says.

Leonard Strickman, who earns $129,842 as dean of the law school in Fayetteville, came to the university after a national search about five years ago. He had served as dean of the law school at Northern Illinois and was also on the faculty at a law school in California.

"All three of these deans are making salaries that are typical or even toward the low side of [salaries at other] major universities," Pederson says.

Another national search brought Leonard Schaper to the university as a professor of electrical engineering. Schaper, who earns $105,200, took a cut in pay from his job with the Aluminum Co. of America to teach at Fayetteville, Pederson says.

Highest-Paid Coaches

For sports fans, here's a trivia question that might be difficult to answer: Who are the four highest-paid state employees in athletics, not including perks such as shoe contracts or payments for radio and TV shows?

The top three are obvious. Nolan Richardson, head basketball coach at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and Frank Broyles, the UA athletic director, each have a salary of $103,171. Danny Ford, the Arkansas Razorbacks' head football coach, makes $99,680.

The fourth highest-paid employee in athletics is not an assistant football coach at Fayetteville or any other head coach or athletic director at another state school.

Gary Blair, the UA women's basketball coach, has the fourth-highest salary, $97,550.

That is considerably more than anyone else in athletics at any other state university. Brad Hovious, Arkansas State University's athletic director, earns $76,500 annually. John Bobo, ASU's head football coach, makes $71,200. Nelson Catalina, ASU's basketball coach, has a salary of $62,188.

Wimp Sanderson, basketball coach at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, has a salary of $68,000. Mike Hamrick, UALR's athletic directory, earns $67,725.

And Lee Hardman, who directed the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff's football team to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics championship game in his second season, makes $56,375 a year.

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