College Guide


May 09, 2013 3:58 PM Who’s the Highest Paid Public Employee in Your State?

By Daniel Luzer

No matter what state you hail from, he’s an employee of one of your public universities.

And he’s probably a coach. Except for a few states where academic deans top the list (and Nevada, where the big winner is a plastic surgeon employed by University of Nevada School of Medicine) the jocks are the big winners here.

Here’s the map, by Reuben Fischer-Baum at Deadspin:


Fischer-Baum points out that just because these coaches are public employees doesn’t mean their massive salaries (Mack Brown, football coach of the University of Texas at Austin, got $5 million last year) are actually paid by taxpayers. In most cases salaries come out of sports revenue.

But just remember this the next time public colleges cry poverty as an excuse to hike tuition. There’s certainly money somewhere….

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


  • low-tech cyclist on May 12, 2013 7:47 AM:

    One thing I've been wondering lately is, what would tuition look like if you had a college or university that was every bit as good in the classroom as your better big state universities, but completely cut out all the non-academic frills: no athletic department, no gym, no 'student life' department, just classrooms, spartan dorms (of the sort common 50-60 years ago) to the extent that nearby off-campus housing didn't suffice, a snack bar or two where students could hang out and grab a bite between classes, a library only large enough to house those relevant books and journals that couldn't be PDF'ed and put online, and not even a bookstore because the university would be required to produce and use Creative Commons textbooks, which its students (and anyone else) could download for free.

    How much cheaper per student would such a college be? Could such an institution be a boon for students who want to go to college, but aren't sure how they'll pay for it, or are frightened by the mountain of debt they'll have when they graduate?

    Because one thing I'm hearing lately besides the part about universities subsidizing their athletic departments is that in order to attract the best students, colleges and universities have been ramping up the amenities, which also adds to the sticker price. So how much savings would there potentially be to students if there was a university (preferably located in a city that's fairly affordable and has a lot of apartment buildings) that cut all of this out?

  • John Doe on May 13, 2013 3:09 PM:

    That is basically describing the British education system, and EU fees have just been moved up to 9000 pounds.