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UNM'S $100K CLUB: More than 750 university employees draw six-figure salaries
[May 20, 2007]

UNM'S $100K CLUB: More than 750 university employees draw six-figure salaries

(Albuquerque Journal (NM) (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) May 20--It's not as exclusive a club as one might think.

Roughly one in every 11 employees at UNM draws a sixfigure salary.

For the most part, they're the usual high-earners: doctors and lawyers; coaches and presidents; vice presidents and their many assistants; and, of course, deans, directors and professors. Oh, and a former communications director for Gov. Bill Richardson.

But the list also includes a sociology professor, Philip Alan May, earning $158,902; and communications and journalism professor William Gill Woodall, who is paid $127,571. May and Woodall also hold positions with the university's Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Addictions.

"It is a lot of money," said Helen Gonzales, associate vice president for human resources and a member of the $100,000 club herself. "But the people making it are the ones in the kind of work that they'd be making it anywhere and maybe more."

Most of the top earners -- about 70 percent -- work in UNM's Health Sciences Center, which includes the schools of medicine, pharmacy and nursing, according to a Journal analysis of salaries provided by UNM.

The data reflect salaries as of March 31, so incoming president David Schmidly -- who will earn a $380,000 salary when he officially starts June 1 -- isn't on the list. Neither is new head basketball coach Steve Alford, who is earning a base salary of $210,000, to say nothing of the additional compensation in his contract.

In all, 757 of the university's 8,440 employees earn six-figure salaries.

If it's exclusivity you're after, set your sights on the $200,000 club: UNM has 85 of those. The $300,000 club: 18. The $400,000 club: just four.

The $500,000 club? Sorry, not at this state school -- unless you factor in perks like deferred compensation and housing allowances.

While Schmidly will earn a base salary of $380,000, his total compensation package will be $587,000 a year. Alford negotiated a $975,000 compensation package with UNM when he was hired in March.

Some doctors at the medical school also earn more than their base salaries for seeing patients at University of New Mexico Hospital, said Sam Giammo, spokesman for the Health Sciences Center.

Gonzales, the university's associate vice president for human resources, said the university sets its salaries based on market information. It studies university data, higher education studies, and, if possible, the regional market.

The Human Resources department sets salary grades and ranges for all staff but those in the top echelons of the university's administration. Faculty salaries are set by department chairs and deans, based on market factors, said Deputy Provost Richard Holder.

"We want to be competitive, to the extent we can be," Gonzales said, noting that UNM can't always pay what the market reflects.

The New Mexico Higher Education Department conducted a faculty salary study of New Mexico's colleges and universities in October. Among the study's findings was that UNM's average salary for professors, $108,859, fell below the $125,646 average for peer institutions. Peer institutions include Arizona State University, Oklahoma State University and Texas A&M.

What follows is a sampling of people who, as of March 31, earned $100,000 or more at UNM:

Dr. Paul Roth: Roth earns the highest salary at UNM, drawing in $416,000 -- soon to be $436,800 -- for his work as dean and vice president of the university's Health Sciences Center. In that position, he oversees the operations of Health Sciences and is one of three executive vice presidents at UNM.

Dr. Jorge A Wernly: This professor earns the secondhighest salary at UNM, $412,478. His expertise: thoracic surgery.

Breda Bova: She's the go-toperson in the president's office, handling everything from inauguration activities to faculty and student issues, said UNM spokeswoman Susan McKinsey. Bova earns $130,924 for acting as senior adviser to the president. A faculty member in the university's College of Education, Bova was named senior presidential adviser by former president Louis Caldera.

Billy Sparks: Before going to work for UNM in February 2006, Sparks was Richardson's chief spokesman. He now earns $124,800 as executive director of communications and marketing for the Health Sciences Center, a position that wasn't advertised. The hiring drew criticism from some at Health Sciences who chalked it up to politics, an allegation denied by both UNM and the Governor's Office.

Damon Cano: The poison information specialist earns $100,838. Cano is one of the experts who staffs the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center, the place parents or anyone else can call to get lifesaving information in an emergency.

Louis Caldera: This former UNM president will continue to get his $305,154 salary through July 31, despite having resigned in January 2006.

David Brookshire: The UNM economics professor earns a $169,281 salary.

Ted Garcia: The longtime general manager of KNME-TV earns $154,749. KNME is owned and operated by UNM.

Jerald Rounds: The civil engineering professor gets a salary of $102,051.

Copyright (c) 2007, Albuquerque Journal, N.M.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
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