By Meg Tully
Top 10 State Salaries
Maryland Reporter’s third annual report on state salaries found that 5,663 state employees pulled in $100,000 or greater in 2012 –about 6% of total state employees. Three out of four of these six-figure salaries are earned by people working for state colleges and universities — more than 10% of the full-time employees — led by three million-dollar coaches.
This total is slightly higher than last year’s number, when 5,552 people — about 6% of state work force — made $100,000 or more, but 500 more than calendar 2010 when furloughs reduced all state salaries. The state employed close to 94,828 total full-time employees in 2012, according to budget documents (pages 144-146) including figures for higher education, non-budgeted agencies and contractual employees.
The median household income in Maryland was $72,419, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, meaning half of Maryland homes make less than that amount.
Here is the complete list of state employees making more than $100,000 per year.
Market drives salaries
Public policy experts on both sides of the political spectrum said that Maryland’s salaries seem to be in line with with the marketplace.
Christopher Summers, president of the Maryland Public Policy Institute, a free-market oriented think tank, said that salaries should be considered
within the market for those jobs.
“It’s good that we have transparency of public employee compensation,” Summers said. “(But) I think when you look at the overall compensation packages, it would be very comparable if these same individuals were to hold the same positions of responsibility in the private sector.”
Particularly medical doctors, who earned some of the highest wages in the university system and non-education state government offices in 2012, could probably earn higher wages in the private sector, he said.
MarylandReporter.com’s analysis of 2012 payroll data provided by the Maryland Comptroller’s Office found that 5,663 employees paid by the state made more than $100,000. The data includes contractors and hourly workers. Some Department of Public Safety and Corrections who made more than $100,000 were excluded from the list because of an accounting change mid-way through the year as the department reorganized.
About three-fourths of earners making $100,000 or more are employed by Maryland’s public universities and colleges. University employees dominate the highest paid echelons of state employees, with non-university employees only coming into the rankings after 269 university employees.
The judiciary, the health department, the state police and the transportation department have the most $100,000-plus workers of non-university state departments.
Universities lead salaries, top earner makes more than $2 million
At the top of the list of highest paid employees are three coaches at University of Maryland, College Park – Head Football Coach Randy Edsall earned $2,011,720, Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mark Turgeon earned $2,001,149 and Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Brenda Frese earned $984,637.
Rounding out the top 10 paid are higher-ups at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and University of Maryland, Baltimore. Many of those are doctors whose private practice patients go through the university system.
“Fully two-thirds of those salaries come from private non-taxpayer sources,” said Mike Lurie, a spokesman for the University System of Maryland. “Technically these private practice physicians are de facto members of the professor faculty at the University School of Medicine, but the salary that you see listed is not paid by the state — about one third of that number is.”
The payroll database maintained by the comptroller’s office does not distinguish sources of funding for
salaries. Especially in the universities, there are other sources of income that help offset salaries – whether it is research grants brought in by faculty, endowed chairs funded through donation, private patient payments or sports media deals.
For some employees, there is a big difference between their annual salary and the amount the state actually paid them. For instance, Edsall’s salary is listed as $400,000 but the football coach was paid more than $2 million.
The state’s database for gross payments includes salaries plus bonuses, annual leave payouts, overtime, payments for working late shifts, Social Security and Medicare taxes, and any increases in pay for temporarily performing increased duties.
Six-figure employees in the minority
Most state employees do not make six-figure salaries and are hard-working people who have endured furlough days and pay freezes in the recent years, said Jeff Pittman, communications director for the state employee union American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME Maryland) . Most employees in the union are not in the six-figure pay range and take note of higher government salaries.
“For state employees, non-teachers, the average is around $41,000 a year, so they definitely look at these and it raises their eyebrows,” Pittman said.
Psychiatrists make Top 10 list for non-university employees (See list below)
In state government outside the university system, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene employee Dr. Linda De Hoyos made the most of all employees. De Hoyos, clinical/medical director at the Thomas B. Finan Hospital Center in Cumberland, is paid $118 an hour and earned $263,326 in 2012.
Dori Henry, a spokeswoman at DHMH, said there is a shortage of psychiatrists nationally and in Maryland. Psychiatric hospitals in particular require round the clock physician presence, and the department has a variety of contracts to attract physicians instead of relying solely on salaried doctors, she said.
For instance, some physicians work only “on call” while others have regular hours. Other physicians work at several different institutions and prefer to be contract employees, she said.
“In the rural areas, recruitment of psychiatrists is particularly difficult, so special payment contracts are sometimes used to attract psychiatrists for higher pay but no benefits,” Henry said.
That is the case at the Finan Hospital, where De Hoyos oversees clinical and medical staff, as well as a 22-bed unit. Two other psychiatrists, Dr. Taiwo Okusami and Dr. Sherri Passarell, from DHMH who are in the top five non-university state employees both oversee 22-bed
units at the hospital. Although they are hourly employees, DHMH does not offer them additional overtime compensation, Henry said.
The health department employed 258 people who made more than $100,000 in 2012. The university system employed about 4,170 people who make more than $100,000. Judiciary employed 335, Department of State Police 166 and Department of Transportation 150.
Expert: high-wage employees not over compensated
Neil Bergsman, director of the Maryland Budget & Tax Institute often aligned with progressive advocates, said that state government employees are not over compensated.
“You look at your top 10 list outside of higher education and you can see that most of them are in very specialized positions where if you want capable professionals you have to pay them market rates — people running ports and airports and investment operations,” Bergsman said.
The Department of Budget and Management performed a compensation study in 2008 (and part 2) that compared state employee salaries
with salaries paid by the federal government, counties and neighboring jurisdictions. The study found that
Maryland government employee salaries were about five percent behind market rate in salaries, and comparable to market rate with benefits included, he said.
In the years since 2008, state leaders grappling with the recession implemented furlough days and cut back on expected salary increases, so the study is relatively current, he said.
And Bergsman pointed out not all six-figure jobs are simple desk jobs.
“Just recently the warden positions have edged up to hundred thousand territory,” Bergsman said. “I cannot think of a more stressful, a more responsible job where the consequences of screwing up are worse that pays as little as a hundred thousand or so. It’s astonishing to me that prison wardens do that job for that money.”
Top 10 Paid Non-University Employees
1. Linda De Hoyos, M.D., Clinical/Medical Director of the Thomas B. Finan Hospital Center, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene $263,326
2. Taiwo Okusami, M.D., Psychiatrist/Unit Director, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene $261,771
3. Paul Weidefeld, Executive Director of the Maryland Aviation Administration, Department of
4. James White, Executive Director of the Maryland Port Administration, Department of Transportation $257,734
5. Sherri Passarell, M.D., Psychiatrist/Unit Director, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene $255, 669
6. Michael Frenz, Executive Director, Maryland Stadium Authority $249,332
7. Ann Moye, Chief Investment Officer, State Retirement Agency $245,365
8. Kelley Phillips, M.D., psychiatrist and acting clinical director, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Eastern Shore Hospital Center $241,042
9. Robert Bass Maryland, Executive Director, Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems $238,852
10. David Fowler, M.D. Chief Medical Examiner, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene $227,088
Im not sure if the pay reduction act of 2009 affected this workers, but did affected the case managers at the department os Social Services were case managers who work hard to feed families are hired making a little over 28,000.00 a year. This situation is not good. The Union needs to work a little bit to fix this problem. We work hard and not paid a competitive salary. Its a shame. Not all the public workers are trested iqually.
This is sickening. The concentration of wealth in this country is getting smaller and smaller. We are allowing it to happen on our watch and our kids are paying the price in debt.
I would say something but it might get me AUDITED.
A bigger question might be why does a basketball coach make 300K more than an MD, PhD, MBA?
What’s the purpose in releasing the names and salary levels of college and university personnel? And then to contrast those salaries with household incomes in Maryland? Wouldn’t all of this be more useful to compare positions of similar professional types and levels, e.g. within the educational community. To this reader, what’s provided is little more than a “data dump” that comes across as unduly provocative rather than informative.
Dear Ron, the people listed in the report are all state employees. There are people in the report who do not work for a university. It just seems that salaries at state universities are especially rich. State employees are paid with the tax dollars collected from citizens of the state. A family making $72,000 may indeed wonder why they are helping to pay the salary of a basketball coach.
As a struggling Maryland taxpayer who’s made sacrifices to keep a roof over my head & food on the table ( forget the luxuries like eating out, going to movies & concerts, etc.because I can’t afford them with the increases in taxes & fees ). I want to know how much ” my public servants” are paid !
Why should they paid so much ? I thought that being a civil servant was “sacrificial”, giving up a similar higher paying position in the private sector ? What a sick, pathetic,unfunny joke !
And based on the “products” they put out, they should not be paid at all ! The “pleasure & joy” of being in such lofty positions and what they “produce” should be their pay !
Employment in the gov sector USED to be low on pay with decent benefits & job security. It was “public service”. That changed many years ago. What makes this article & so many other reports of fed, state & local gov upper management type salaries is the hit middle class taxpayers are taking under the Miller, O’Malley & Busch reign, not to mention the threat from higher taxes from DC. It’s especially difficult if you’re trying to pay UM tuition rates knowing full well that a huge chunk is paying salaries.
Hi Abby !
Thanks for your response !
It appears that everytiime Maryland increases its “education subsidies” to UM and other colleges, the tuitions increase….I wonder what would happen if they were cut…A vain dream, I know… I wonder if the “educational establishment” can make their ” rock stars” actually teach ! Again, a vain hope…
And football and basketball coaches earning close to $ 1 million/year ? Get the NBA & NFL to pay them, not us !
When I attended the University of Pittsburgh (1971-1975), I rarely saw a professor teaching any of my classes…. Just grad students…Yet, I paid the “going rate”…
BTW, I worked my way through school, 40 hours/week and taking enough courses to maintain being a “full time” student… I can tell you about some of my classes and my job, but nothing about anything else ( student activities )… I graduated with no debt…
As for post high educations, learn a skilled trade…It’s a good living and with the Internet, you can “follow one’s muse” without paying for it over the next 20+ years.
My wife did the same… It took her 8 years, but she got her BSN this year ! No debt for her !
No wonder a college education is out of reach of many students and/or is a 20 year burden to those who manage to attend.