Special Report

The Highest Paid Public Employee in Every State

Source: Wikimedia Commons

26. Montana
> Highest paid employee: Clay Christian
> Position: Commissioner of higher education
> Salary: $309,207

Clay Christian was hired in 2011 as Montana’s Commissioner of Higher Education, the highest position in the Montana University System. Prior to his hiring, Clay had spent 10 years obtaining a business degree from the University of Montana, taking time off to work as a ranch manager to pay for school. Clay received $309,207 in salary in 2016, the most of any public employee in the state.


27. Nebraska
> Highest paid employee: Mike Riley
> Position: College football coach
> Salary: $2.70 million

Head football coach Mike Riley is only in his second season leading the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Large universities bank on large sporting events to attract ticket sales as well as more interest from prospective students. Riley previously coached in Oregon.

28. Nevada
> Highest paid employee: Kayvan Khiabani
> Position: Professor of surgery
> Salary: $987,638

Kayvan Khiabani, professor of surgery at University of Nevada Reno, is the highest paid public employee in Nevada. Nevada is one of just six states in which the top-paid public employee is in the medical field.

Source: unh.edu

29. New Hampshire
> Highest paid employee: Mark Huddleston
> Position: College president
> Salary: $492,800

Like other states with relatively small populations, New Hampshire’s university system does not attract the same level of fanfare to its sports programs compared to some of the nation’s largest universities. The University of New Hampshire still employs the state’s highest paid employee. UNH President Mark Huddleston earns nearly half a million dollars annually.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

30. New Jersey
> Highest paid employee: Chris Ash
> Position: College football coach
> Salary: $2.00 million

As the new head football coach of the Rutgers University football team, Chris Ash will earn a guaranteed salary of $2 million in the 2016 season. While Ash will make more than anyone else currently employed by the state of New Jersey, a former employee may actually receive a larger compensation package. Rutgers University fired its former men’s basketball coach Eddie Jordan earlier this year and is now contractually obligated to pay him a $2.1 million buyout.

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