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February 23, 2011 11:00 AM Balance Sheets at Texas Tech

By Daniel Luzer

Professors at Texas Tech University were forced to take a salary freeze in 2011. The continuing recession and an 8 percent decline in state funding prompted the state university’s administrators to cut costs.

Not, apparently, all costs. According to an article by Matthew McGowan in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal:

Several professors at a faculty senate meeting Wednesday questioned the university’s January announcement it will increase [Texas Tech football coach Tommy] Tuberville’s annual pay by $500,000 through 2015, one of the university’s few raises as it braces for lawmakers to cut tens of millions of dollars from the university’s revenue.
The five-year $11 million contract guarantees Tuberville at least $2 million per year, up from $1.5 million in the original contract he signed with Tech in 2010.

Tuberville is admittedly a very good coach. The football team has an 8-5 record. Last year Tuberville was the first coach in Texas Tech’s history to win a bowl game in his first season.

According to the article, the university’s president, Guy Bailey said that “some frustration may stem from confusion about how Tech pays Tuberville’s salary. Many fail to understand that a funding wall separates academics and athletic budgets… so the raise does not directly siphon from academic coffers.”

That would be a good point, if it were true. In fact, however, $2.5 million of the school’s athletic budget is siphoned from academics every year.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer