Lingle is at best No. 474 in salary
Hundreds at UH make more money than the governor, including the new football coach
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Long gone are the days when Hawaii's governor was among the highest-paid state employees.
At last count, 473 University of Hawaii administrators and faculty members make more money than Gov. Linda Lingle's salary of $116,524.
At $1.1 million, new head football coach Greg McMackin is the state's highest-paid employee and the first state worker to get a seven-figure annual salary.
But even some assistant professors and public school principals make more than the governor.
The UH faculty union's executive director, J.N. Musto, has said executive salaries began rising significantly under Evan Dobelle, UH president in 2001-2004.
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Though the governor is the state's top administrator, she is well down on the list of the state's highest-paid employees.
$1.1 million: Greg McMackin, UH head football coach
$505,008: Dr. Jerris Hedges, director, UH John A. Burns School of Medicine
$430,512: Carl-Wilhelm Vogel, director, Cancer Research Center of Hawaii
$392,400: David McClain, president, University of Hawaii system
$381,840: Aviam Soifer, dean, UH William S. Richardson School of Law
$368,880: Rolf-Peter Kudritzki, director, UH Institute for Astronomy
In fact, 473 University of Hawaii employees make more than Gov. Linda Lingle's annual pay of $116,524.80, according to a UH salary list compiled in November.
Most of the highest-paying jobs in the state are in the UH system, including new head football coach Greg McMackin. At $1.1 million, McMackin is the state's highest-paid employee and the first state worker to get a seven-figure annual salary.
But there are a number of state workers who make six figures. Most of the highest-paid employees work at UH, such as the deans of the medical, law and business schools. But even some assistant professors make more than the governor.
At $392,400 a year, up 9 percent from $360,000 last year, UH President David McClain is just the third highest-paid UH administrator.
Some salaries, like McMackin's, are a combination of taxpayer dollars and private donations.
State schools Superintendent Pat Hamamoto ($150,000) and some high school principals also make six-figure salaries above the governor's.
In an e-mail, former Gov. Ben Cayetano said the governor's salary is "adequate," noting that the governor also gets perks like housing, transportation and household staff.
"I don't think the governor's salary should be a cap for the salaries of public employees," Cayetano wrote.
As for UH, Cayetano said the university should pay "what the market requires for world class faculty."
Carolyn Tanaka, University of Hawaii vice president for external relations ($143,016), said comparing UH salaries to the governor is like comparing "apples and oranges."
She said that in general, university salaries are set by looking at national surveys of salaries of universities of a size and budget similar to UH and taking an average.
"Perhaps a better story comparing apples to apples would be to compare our salaries to peer institutions rather than the governor's salary, which is set by state law," Tanaka said.
J.N. Musto, executive director of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, said he believes administrators "by and large" make about the same as their counterparts on the mainland.
But the faculty union is pushing a bill in the Legislature to disclose the salaries of new hires and of raises for top administrators.
"The public should have a right to comment on that before the regents formally take action," Musto said.
In written testimony, Musto said executive salaries at UH began rising significantly under Evan Dobelle ($442,000), UH president in 2001-2004.
The bill is opposed by the university administration. In written testimony the university said disclosing salaries or salary ranges in advance of the regents' decisions would "severely hamper" the university's ability to negotiate terms of employment contracts.
The public school principals and UH assistant coaches are members of the Hawaii Government Employees Union.