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Top Salaries Revealed

Pennsylvania’s Right To Know Law, signed by Governor Rendell back in February 2008 has forced four Universities in the Commonwealth to divulge information about the 25 highest paid employees. The Universities that fall under this Act include Temple, Pitt, Lincoln and Penn State. According to Section 1503 of the law (I took out the irrelevant parts):

The report required under section 1502 shall include the following:
(2) The salaries of all officers and directors of the State-related institution.
(3) The highest 25 salaries paid to employees of the institution that are not included under paragraph (2).

Reports on salaries must be made available by May 30 of each year and be publicly available on each Universities’ website.

Below you’ll find the top 6 employees that earn the most directly from University funds:

  1. Joe Paterno: $1,037,322
  2. Robert Harbaugh (Neurosurgery Department Chairman): $789,492
  3. Harold Paz (CEO of Hershey Medical Center): $755,996
  4. Alan Brechbill (Executive Director of the Medical Center): $668,448
  5. Ed DeChellis: $642,366
  6. Graham Spanier: $590,004

I know some people had a problem with releasing the salaries of highly paid individuals for fear of them being stolen by other institutions or creating some negative feelings among other employees. Personally, I’m glad the information was finally released. If I were a tax paying resident of PA, I would want to know where my tax dollars are going. In my home State Commonwealth, it is easy to find salary information for Public Universities. One University Newspaper even has a database of several schools, including some from the Big 10.

UPDATE 6/5/2009 at 3:15 PM

An email I received from Geoff Rushton, Assistant News Bureau Manager for the Department of Public Information offers key facts about Penn State Salaries:

In reality, only five people on the list of 32 reported in the University’s Right to Know Report have salaries that come from funds provided principally by tuition or Commonwealth appropriation. The compensation of the other 27 employees is provided from self-supporting entities (Penn State Milton S. Herhsey Medical Center and Intercollegiate Athletics) that do not use funding from Commonwealth appropriations or student tuition. The only employee in the top six you listed to receive compensation paid from funds provided principally by tuition and/or appropriation is President Spanier.

The Centre Daily Times has an interesting list of top salaries at Penn State, Pitt and Temple. If you feel like nerding out like I did for this story and reading the Right To Know Law, you can find the full Act here.

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Steve S.

Steve Sharer is a Security and Risk Analysis major and an overall good guy. He brings Onward State readers enticing posts such as "Question of the Day" and "Campus Explorer" and will continue to do so until he becomes the President of the United States of America in 2024.

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