By Travis Perry │ Kansas Watchdog
OSAWATOMIE — With all the talk lately about whether state universities are making good use of public funds, I became curious about one of the biggest expense any organization incurs: staff salaries.
And the figure I uncovered is nothing short of eye-popping.
Of the 1,000 highest-paid public employees in Kansas last year, nearly all of them were on the payroll of one of the state’s six public universities.
I pulled the data on state employee salaries from KansasOpenGov.org. While the site is operated by the Kansas Policy Institute, a free-market think tank that emphasizes small government and fiscal prudence, all the figures were compiled through information provided by the Kansas Department of Administration.
In all, only 46 of Kansas’ top 1,000 highest-paid state employees work somewhere other than a state university. That’s less than 5 percent.
After sorting the data by all salaries in excess of $100,000 annually, page after page reveal the consolidation of high wage positions at state higher education institutions. In fact, you’ll have to sift through 223 individuals – arranged in order of decreasing pay – before finding someone in a different state agency with such an impressive compensatory figure.
Breeze Richardson, associate director of communications and government relations for the Kansas Board of Regents, did not immediately respond Thursday to calls for comment from Kansas Watchdog.
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