Patrick B. McGuigan and Stacy Martin
The president of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College earned $172,990 in Fiscal Year 2010, making him one of the public employees in Higher Education who earned more than the governor of Oklahoma that year.
Jeff L. Hale, who has been president at the Miami-based community college system since 2008, earned $172,990. The governor of Oklahoma is paid $147,000 a year.
The next best-paid public employee at the institution was Timothy W. Faltyn, a dean of students, who garnered $98,990 in FY 2010.
Total personnel costs at NEOA&M were $9,067,637 in Fiscal Year 2010, the most recent year for which comprehensive information is available.
Using a data base called AccountAbilityOK.com and other resources, CapitolBeatOK is studying total personnel costs at all the colleges and universities in Oklahoma, highlighting the upper-end salaries – those who are paid more than the state’s governor, and those who have been paid more than $100,000 a year.
In Fiscal Year 2010, then-Governor Brad Henry was paid $147,000, the same his successor, Gov. Mary Fallin is now paid, plus a benefits package.
In FY 2010, the most recent year for which comprehensive data are available, a total of 877 state employees were compensated that amount or more, in some cases much more. AccountAbilityOK.com is a project of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.
All but 52 of those employees are in the Higher Education system. Described conversely, 825 employees in Higher Education earn more than the state’s chief executive (http://www.capitolbeatok.com/_webapp_3961667/Higher_Education_dominates_Oklahoma’s_high-end_public_salaries).
For FY 2012, total spending at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, which also has a branch campus in Grove, increased a little more than 6 percent. The increase in spending came although the state has faced three straight years of tightened revenues. For FY 2012, the Legislature nipped Higher Education appropriations by 5 percent.
Spending increases at NEOA&M have averaged 3.7 percent annually (despite the one year, FY 2004, when spending actually declined. Leaving out that year’s net reduction in spending, the increase is actually 4.7 percent, according to Oklahoma Watchdog’s Peter J. Rudy (http://oklahoma.watchdog.org/2159/another-small-school-spending-more-northeastern-oklahoma-am-college/).
Spending at the school is far-outpacing the annualized inflation rate of 2.5 percent over the past decade.
Rudy’s analysis showed: “In FY 2003, state appropriations made up 74 percent of the NEO A&M budget while tuition and fees comprised 24 percnet. For the current year, the state remains the main funding source, but the gap is much closer with 56 percent of the budget coming from the state and 43 percent from tuition and fees. State appropriations to NEO A&M did increase by $93,000 from last year to this year.”
A graphic illustration of spending at NEOA&M can be viewed here (http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/visualizations/northeastern-oklahoma-a-m-college-/comments/32ac3924c2a611e0948d000255111976).