By Derek Legette | The Nerve
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Want a high-paying career — at taxpayer expense — in South Carolina? Try higher education.
As of June 1, the top 10 earners among state agencies — all college or university officials in academics, administration or athletics — were earning annual salaries ranging from $312,066 to $400,000, according to a state salary database maintained by the South Carolina Budget and Control Board.
As a comparison, the vice president of United States earns $230,700.
More than 15,500 state employees were making at least $50,000 annually as of June 1, according to the salary database. Under the state’s open records law, public agencies must disclose upon request the exact amount of salaries that fall in that category.
The $50,000-plus salary list could be larger, because the Budget and Control Board’s Office of Human Resources, according to BCB’s website, doesn’t oversee 18 state agencies, including the state-owned utility Santee Cooper.
Santee Cooper president and CEO Lonnie Carter, for example, earned $429,406 in salary last year, The Nerve reported then.
The six-figure salary club included 2,137 members as of June 1, of whom 197 had listed annual salaries of $200,000 or more, according to The Nerve’s review of the BCB’s salary database.
All of those listed in the database as earning at least $200,000 were employed at colleges or universities, with the state’s three research institutions, the University of South Carolina, Clemson University and the Medical University of South Carolina, dominating that group.