Junior college in Poteau had nearly $9 million payroll in Fiscal year 2010

Carl Albert State College, a two-year state college in Poteau, Oklahoma with a branch campus in Sallisaw, had total payroll of $8,927,752 in fiscal year 2010, the most recent period for which comprehensive information is available. 

Dr. Brandon R. Webb, college president, was the highest paid employee on the campus, with compensation of $110,752. 

A more typical pay level on the campus was that for Jerry W. Ellis, who garnered a total of $42,413 in compensation from taxpayers for FY 2010. 

Carl Albert is one of a handful of state campuses where spending actually declined this fiscal year, although the trim of less than 1 percent is modest when compared to the spending increases of the past decade. 

In his methodical analysis of spending patterns at each of the Sooner State’s Higher Education institutions, Peter J. Rudy of Oklahoma Watchdog has documented the steady ascent of spending at the sites over ten years. Carl Albert, he recently reported “has seen an average yearly increase of 6.7 percent which is nearly three times the inflation rate over that period.  In FY 2006 and FY 2007, [Carl Albert State College] increased spending by 10 percent and 19 percent, respectively.  And even in FY 2011 when the state was coming off of a revenue failure and dealing with a budget shortfall, CASC’s budget rose by more than 5 percent.”

Carl Albert matches the trend of institutional shifts away from primarily reliance on tax revenues and toward higher tuition and fees to finance operations. Rudy summarized the data as follows: “In FY 2003, 70 percent of the CASC budget was made up of state appropriations while 27 percent came from tuition and fees.  In FY 2012, state appropriations are barely a majority of the budget at 52 percent while tuition and fees comprise 43 percent of the school’s spending.”

In the current fiscal year, Carl Albert’s budget is 78% higher than in Fiscal Year 2003. 

Rudy observed, “In that time, the amount given by the state has increased from $4.9-million in FY 2003 to $6.4-million in FY 2012, an increase of 31%.  But tuition and fee revenue rose from $1.9-million in FY 2003 to $5.3-million in FY 2012, an increase of 180%.  CASC, like all other state colleges and universities, raised tuition for the current school year.”

A graphic illustration of the decade-long spending hikes at Carl Albert State College is available here.

CapitolBeatOK has found, in a study of state government payrolls for 2010, that a total of 2,605 public employees in state government were paid salaries of $100,000 and up. Of the 2,605, only 519 are not in the higher education system.
CapitolBeatOK’s study of state employee salaries draws information from multiple sources, including the AccountAbilityOK.com website sponsored by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, the state government’s Open Books website, and other sources.