The new chairman of the House Higher Education and CareerTech Committee said today he isn’t happy with the 5 percent pay raise given to the state’s higher education chancellor.
“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 Rep. Todd Thomsen, R-Ada.
State Regents for Higher Education on Thursday approved a 5 percent pay increase for Higher Education Chancellor Glen Johnson. His annual salary will increase from $286,650 to about $301,000.
They also gave him a one-time bonus of $10,000. The item was approved without discussion as part of the regents’ consent docket.
“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,” Thomsen said, referring to confirmation this week that the country is in a recession. “Two words come to mind: excessive and unnecessary.”
Johnson said the pay is comparable with others in his position. It is less than the base salaries of the presidents of the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. Johnson was appointed chancellor of the state’s higher education system in December 2006. He previously was president of Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant. As chancellor, he oversees the state system of 25 colleges and universities, and lobbies for their legislative funding.
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- Michael McNutt, Capitol Bureau