Special Report

Highest Paid Public Employee in Every State

41. South Dakota
> Highest paid employee:
Dr. Mary Nettleman
> Position: Medical School Dean
> Salary: $500,000

Dr. Mary Nettleman, South Dakota’s highest paid state employee, is the first woman to serve as dean of the University of South Dakota’s Sanford School of Medicine, and one of only three female highest-paid state employees in the nation. While the highest-paid public employee in most states earn at least seven figures, Nettleman earns an estimated $500,000 annually.

42. Tennessee
> Highest paid employee:
Butch Jones
> Position: College Football Coach
> Salary: $2,960,000

Butch Jones was hired as head coach of the University of Tennessee Volunteers in 2012. He is currently paid nearly $3 million annually, more than any other state employee in Tennessee. While many highly-paid college football coaches work for highly successful sports teams, the Tennessee Vols hired Jones in the hopes he can revitalize the team’s reputation.

43. Texas
> Highest paid employee:
Charlie Strong
> Position: College football coach
> Salary: $5.10 million

Charlie Strong is the highest-paid public employee in Texas and the fourth-highest paid college football coach in the nation. Strong, the head coach of the University of Texas Longhorns, is in close competition with Kevin Sumlin, who makes $5 million as the coach of the Texas A&M Aggies, for both the title of the best football team in Texas and the state’s biggest salary.

44. Utah
> Highest paid employee:
Kyle Whittingham
> Position: College football coach
> Salary: $2.60 million

Kyle Whittingham, who earns $2.6 million annually as the head football coach of the University of Utah Utes, is the state’s highest-paid employee. He earns almost 25 times the salary of Utah’s governor, who makes $109,470 a year. However, a bill has been proposed in the Utah state government which would raise the governor’s annual salary to $150,000. Whittingham recently signed a contract that would give him a $100,000 automatic raise each year for the next four years.

45. Vermont
> Highest paid employee:
Tom Sullivan
> Position: College president
> Salary: $429,093

Vermont is one of two New England states where the highest paid public employee is a college president. As University of Vermont’s top administrator, Tom Sullivan earns slightly more than $429,000 per year. In 2014, the University agreed to a 2% raise for all non-unionized staffers. At his own request, Sullivan did not receive a raise.

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