Top state salaries paid at colleges

  • By Jerry Cornfield Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, August 10, 2011 8:54pm
  • Local News

OLYMPIA — One of the most asked questions about state workers is how much do they get paid.

Well, an answer, or make that 150,000 answers, came out Wednesday in a report revealing salaries of everyone on the payroll in 2010.

Topping the list is Steve Sarkisian, head football coach at University of Washington, at $1,982,918.28, followed by Lorenzo Romar, the Husky men’s basketball coach, at $1,147,050.22.

In fact, the 55 highest paid employees worked at one of the state’s two biggest universities as coaches, administrators and faculty. Former UW President Mark Emmert ($492,117.90) and WSU President Elson Floyd ($625,000.08) are in this group; Emmert left during the year for his current job leading the NCAA.

Gary Bruebaker, who earned $303,581 as the chief investment officer for the State Investment Board, made the most of anyone not on one of those college campuses. You have to scroll through about 1,000 names before you reach Christine O’Grady Gregoire — the governor — at $166,890.96.

At the tail end of the report — available online at — are two checks for 19 cents written to former state workers to cover a last bit of unpaid vacation.

Jason Mercier, director of the Center for Government Reform at the Washington Policy Center, started clicking through the gobs of data soon after it appeared online.

“It is a useful transparency tool to provide information to the public on where and how their money is spent,” he said.

The data in the report is compiled by the Office of Financial Management. It covers gross earnings of those paid through the payroll system of the state and higher education institutions in 2010. Sums include base pay plus any additional compensation such as overtime, standby or assignment pay.

Names can be downloaded into a spreadsheet or one can use links on the agency website to selectively view salaries of employees of a single agency, commission, department or community college.

There’s nothing on those hired since Jan. 1 because this report deals only with those who worked all or part of 2010.

And you need to know one thing about those coaches’ salaries at the UW and WSU — the money doesn’t come out of the pockets of taxpayers.

“No state taxpayer dollars of any kind are used to fund the salaries of any UW athletic department employees, including all the coaches,” according to the state agency. “The UW’s Intercollegiate Athletic Department is responsible for generating all the revenue it needs to operate its programs and maintain its facilities. There are no general fund tax dollars or any other tax dollars supporting the program.”

Ditto for WSU, agency officials said.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623;

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