Three Cameron University employees earn more than Gov. Fallin, four others top $100,000 in annual pay

Three employees at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, one of Oklahoma’s institutions of higher education, earn more than Governor Mary Fallin ($147,000 a year), a CapitolBeatOK analysis reveals. Four others at the school, three current employees and one retiree, are paid more than $100,000 a year.

Cynthia S. Ross, president of Cameron University, earned $261,100, with “total of all pay types” reaching $332,700. Provost John M. McArthur was paid a salary of $173,842, with total compensation at $186,600. One other Cameron employee also had taxpayer-financed pay higher than the governor: Vice President Glen P. Pinkston, at $147,870. His total compensation was $160,540.

Four other Cameron University employees (one retired) were compensated more than $100,000 in FY 2010. Reza Kamali (dean of science and technology), brought in $127,250 in pay ($138,500 total); Oris Odom (dean of business) garnered the same amount as Kamali. 

Former President Don C. Davis (listed as retired personnel) had $119,753 for 2010. Ronna J. Vanderslice, dean of education, was listed at $108,917, with total pay of all types coming to $118,500.

The upper-end salaries are not typical of state government employees, the data provides useful information for the pay scales in Oklahoma state government, including Higher Education. As one example, pay for Gerald D. (“Doug”) Cole, station manager at public radio station KCCU, totaled $51,911 in Fiscal Year 2010.

Total payroll at Cameron University in 2010 was $25,008,978, according to data drawn from an interactive and searchable website, In the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education, the four-year graduation rate for Cameron University students was six percent.
In his ongoing analysis of Higher Education spending since 2003, Peter J. Rudy of found that Cameron was one of the few institutions where overall spending has decreased in any recent fiscal year.

Rudy noted the current year spending is roughly $46.8 million, a decline form last year’s $47.8 million. That is not to say Cameron has been slashing budgets in recent years. Rudy reports, “The average increase since FY 2003, even with this year’s decline, is 4.8% and FY 2012’s budget is 51% higher than the FY 2003 budget was.” 

Rudy notes that, as is the case with other public universities, “Cameron is relying less on state funding now than it did 10 years ago. The revenues for FY 2003 consisted in part of 65% state funding and 30% tuition fees. For the current fiscal year, 48% of the funding is from state appropriations and 50% is from tuition and fees.” 

A chart documenting the rise in Cameron spending since 2003 is available here.
CapitolBeatOK’s examination of public employee salaries in Oklahoma has found that in FY 2010, the most recent year for which comprehensive data is available, a total of 877 state employees were compensated at $147,000 a year (the salary earned by Gov. Mary Fallin. All but 52 of those employees are in the Higher Education system. 

Expanding the examination to 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. There are 2,086 “Higher Ed” employees earning more than $100,000 in annual salaries.

Many of those in Higher Education earning high-end salaries are medical doctors at the Health Science Center in Oklahoma City. Others include coaches and prominent tenured professors.
CapitolBeatOK’s study of state employee salaries draws information from multiple sources, including the website, the state government’s Open Books website, and other sources.