Lawmaker questions chancellor pay raise
BY WORLD CAPITOL BUREAU
Saturday, December 06, 2008
12/06/08 at 11:53 AM
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Original Print Headline: Lawmaker questions chancellor pay raise
OKLAHOMA CITY — A 5 percent raise plus a bonus granted by state regents to Higher Education Chancellor Glen Johnson prompted criticism Friday.
"From a perception standpoint, I don't think now is the time to be giving higher education's top official a raise and hefty bonus," said Rep. Todd Thomsen, new chairman of the House Higher Education and CareerTech Committee.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education approved a $14,332 raise Friday that brings Johnson's annual salary to $300,982. He also received a $10,000 bonus. The increases were enacted as part of a consent docket with no discussion by regents.
"This type of action in an environment where higher education officials have already requested $80 million in additional funding next year makes me truly question what other unnecessary or wasteful spending is going on within our higher education system," said Thomsen, R-Ada.
Regent Bill W. Burgess Jr. of Lawton defended the board's actions.
"The Chancellor has an extraordinarily high level of responsibility, overseeing a budget of more than $2 billion, coordinating our 25 public colleges and universities, and managing financial aid, teacher development and other higher education programs," said Burgess, noting that the pay is needed to keep people of Johnson's caliber.