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Coaches, Medical and Business Scholars Paid Best at Illinois Universities

By Kalyn Belsha in News on Jun 6, 2009 6:30PM

According to a computer-assisted data analysis conducted by the Sun-Times, of the 69,000 people employed at Illinois public universities, Ron Zook, the football coach at the University of Illinois, is the highest paid at just under $1 million last year. Zook’s top assistant, Michael Locksley, earned a higher salary than most state university top officials.

The Sun-Time’s now-searchable database provides salary information for professors and administrators during the 2007 to 2008 school year. While the salaries are public information this is the first compilation of all the universities’ salary data in a single location.

As tuition rises across the state and Illinois residents express concern -- one 2008 survey found fewer than one in 10 Illinois residents believe college is worth the cost -- university officials are increasingly preoccupied with personnel costs. Officials say they need to pay well to well to keep talented staff, but at what cost to students?

The Sun-Times analysis found about 5,200 university employees received $100,000 or more in salary last year. Coaches, those in medical positions and business scholars were paid the most. The University of Illinois topped the chart of highest-paid employees -- though tuition and fees at its Urbana-Champaign campus have more than doubled in the last 10 years. For the most part, professors in the humanities and arts trailed their counterparts in the sciences.

To search the database yourself check it out here.