Patrick B. McGuigan
At the community college in Wilburton, Oklahoma, the president of Eastern Oklahoma State College earned $125,000 a year in Fiscal Year 2010. President Stephen E. Smith assumed the top job on campus in 2007.
The next highest paid state government employee in the Eastern Oklahoma system -- which has a branch campus in McAlester and offers some courses at a McCurtain County (Idabel) campus – is Troy F. Walker. Professor (and dean) Walker was paid $98,755 in FY 2010, the most recent year for which comprehensive data is available.
In FY 2010, personnel expenses at the school totaled nearly $7 million ($6,996,789).
CapitolBeatOK is examining the personnel costs in Higher Education. In Oklahoma, a search for salaries of $100,000 or more yields a total of 2,605 people in Oklahoma state government who are paid salaries of $100,000 and up.
Of the 2,605 people being paid more than $100,000 a year, only 519 are not in the higher education system. In FY 2010, there are 2,086 “Higher Ed” employees earning more than $100,000 in annual salaries.
CapitolBeatOK’s analysis is based on publicly-available data found at websites such as AccountAbilityOK.com and OpenBooks.ok.gov, and other sources.
Eastern Oklahoma State College is one of the handful of colleges or universities in the Sooner State where spending declined in the current fiscal year (2012).
Over the past ten years, Eastern Oklahoma’s budget has grown roughly 29 percent, with an average annual hike of 3 percent (slightly above the rate of inflation).
In his look at spending on all state campuses, Peter J. Rudy of Oklahoma Watchdog found the school had greater fluctuation than most – with three years in the past decade with budget hikes of 9 percent or more, and three years with reduced spending over the same period.
While spending fell less than one percent this year, in the prior two years spending had jumped 9.7 percent, then just one percent.
Oklahoma Watchdog reported that like other campuses, Eastern Oklahoma today “is relying less on state appropriations to fund its budget. But state money is still by far the largest contributor to EOSC. In Fy2003, state appropriations made up 71 percent of the budget while tuition and fees comprised 24 percent. In FY 2012, the ratio had shifted to 61 percent from the state and 32 percent from tuition and fees.”
A “bar chart” illustrating the course of expenditures at Eastern Oklahoma over the past decade can be viewed here.