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Wed., Aug. 10, 2011, 5:02 p.m.

Who makes what in WA state government

OLYMPIA -- The biennial "Who makes what" list for state employees is out this morning, and at the top of the list are the football and basketball coaches at the University of Washington.

The first 55 slots for total compensation among all state employees went to coaches, administrators, professors or other staff at state universities and colleges, according to a list released by the state and arranged on a spreadsheet by the Washington Policy Center. At No. 56 was the first non-college-related state employee, Gary Bruebaker, the chief investment officer for the State Investment Board, who received $303,581.

Gov. Chris Gregoire, by comparison, received $166,890. That puts her 955th on the list of state employees, which includes more than 150,000 names.

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Steve Sarkisian, Husky football head coach, earned $1,982,918 in 2010, and head basketball coach Lorenzo Romar earned $1,147,050, the report from the Office of Financial Management says.

Ken Bone, Washington State University head basketball coach was third, with $746,415, and Husky assistant football coach Nick Holt fourth at $652,228.

Washington State University President Elson Floyd was the highest paid state employee who wasn't a coach. He was No. 5, and received $625,000. WSU football coach Paul Wulff was next at $551,670.

UW President Mark Emmert collected $492,178, but only worked nine months. He left Oct. 1 last year to head up the NCAA. His replacement, Michael Young, wasn't chosen until this April.

Of the first 1,000 people on the list, Those who make about $164,000 or more, 948 were employed at state universities or colleges, with the vast majority at UW. Thirty-three work for the Department of Social and Health Services, primarily as physicians, psychiatrists or clinic directors; nine work for the Department of Corrections, either as physicians or in health care related jobs. The only other office with more than two employees in the top 1,000 was the State Investment Board, which has six.

Anticipating questions or criticism over the number of high salaries for coaches, administrators, professors and other employees at the University of Washington, OFM included explanations in the "frequently asked questions" it posted on its website with the compensation lists.

Coaches and other members of the athletic departments of UW and WSU are paid from ticket and gate receipts, not from the general fund or tuition, the agency said:

"The UW competes for exceptionally talented people with advanced degrees of specialization in a very competitive international marketplace, as do the other public institutions of higher education. Many of the highest-paid employees at the UW, for example, are in high-demand, high-paying fields such as medicine, computer science, genome sciences and other fields in which the market determines the salary scale. As one of the nation’s preeminent research institutions, it is essential that the university attract and retain people at the top of their fields. In these disciplines, salaries tend to be higher than those in other areas of state government. Salaries for the vast majority of UW employees in such fields as medicine and research are not from state taxpayer dollars or tuition."

Not all the salaries are paid with state funds, the department added. Some state employees receive at least part of their compensation from federal grants, and many employees of the universities and colleges are paid from grants, contracts and programs that generate separate revenue.

Employees of the investment board are paid from an average set after a salary survey of other pension funds which is helps the board "attract and retain investment professionals," OFM added. The salaries, and all other board expenses, are paid from investment earings.

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981. He is currently the political reporter and state government reporter in the newspaper's Olympia bureau office.

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