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Franklin Again Tops List of Highest-Paid Penn State Employees

by on July 09, 2018 12:15 PM

No surprise here. For the third consecutive year, James Franklin was again Penn State's top-earning employee.

In Penn State's annual Right to Know filing, which was submitted in accordance with state law and covers the fiscal year from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, the Nittany Lion head football coach was listed as having a total compensation of $5,293,258. That included a base salary of $1.5 million, bonus and incentive compensation of $3.75 million and $43,258 in retirement, benefit and other reportable compensation.

Franklin signed a contract extension last summer that will increase his salary and other compensation each year through 2022, when it will top out at $6.2 million, not including bonuses.

Penn State, along with Pennsylvania's three other state-related universities, is required to list salaries for its officers and directors as well as the 25 highest-paid other employees. Total compensation is not required to be revealed for all employees listed, so in some cases only salaries are included.

Two other athletic department staff members made the list as well. Athletic Director Sandy Barbour had a salary of $720,996 and Brent Pry, in his first year as Franklin's defensive coordinator, earned $603,643. Barbour is the only woman on the list.

Former president Graham Spanier continues to rank among the university's highest-paid employees, despite leaving the position in November 2011. Forced out in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Spanier remained a tenured faculty member as part of his separation agreement, though he has not taught a course during that time and does not have an office on campus. He received $629,314 in total compensation in 2016-17.

Penn State's current president, Eric Barron, received total compensation of $1,071,901, including a base salary of $809,002. In May, Barron was awarded a three-year contract extension that will pay him $834,000 annually, plus bonuses and benefits, through 2022.

No. 2 on the list behind Franklin in terms of total compensation was A. Craig Hillemeier, CEO of the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and dean of the College of Medicine, who took in $1,783,063.

The list is largely dominated by Hershey Medical Center doctors and administrators. Notably, the medical center and athletic department are self-supporting enterprises and their employees are not paid from tuition or tax dollars.

Because total compensation is not included for every employee on the list, here are the top 25 salaries and officer and director salaries for 2016-17. 

1. James Franklin, head football coach, $1.5 million

2. Robert Harbaugh, Department of Neurosurgery chair, $1,001,122

3. Peter Dillion, Department of Surgery chair, $901,805

4. A. Craig Hillemeir, Hershey Medical Center CEO, $892,549

5. Kevin Black, Orthopaedics/Rehabilitation Chair, $852,287

6. Eric Barron, university president, $809,002

7. Alan Brechbil, Hershey Medical Center Executive Director, $734,956

8. Sandy Barbour, athletic director, $720,996

9. Walter Pae, Heart and Vascular Institute physician, $713,665

10. Joseph Clark, Pediatric Surgery physician, $698,813

11. William Hennrikus, Orthopaedics physician, $663,686

12. Lawrence Sinoway, Heart and Vascular Institute director, $658,151

13. Douglas Armstrong, Orthopaedics physician, $650,483

14. James McInerney, Neurosurgery physician, $641,257

15. Kevin Cockroft, Neurosurgery physician, $634,924

16. Raymond Hohl, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute director, $614,778

17. Kenneth Hill, Neurosurgery physician, $606,052

18. Brent Pry, football defensive coordinator, $603,643

19. John Reid, Orthopaedics physician, $600,030

20. Graham Spanier, former university president, $600,000

21. David Quillen, Department of Ophthalmology chair, $594,861

22. Wayne Sebastianelli, Sports Medicine State College chair, $593,548

23. Timothy Mosher, General Diagnostic Radiology chair, $591,835

24. David Campbell, Heart and Vascular Institute physician, $587,810

25. Carlo de Luna, Neurosurgery physician, $580,800

26. Christopher Zacko, Neurosurgery physician, $580,779

27. Stephen Dunham, vice president and general counsel, $551,364

28. Nicholas Jones, executive vice president and provost, $522,180

29. David Gray, senior vice president for finance and business, $480,504

30. Rod Kirsch, senior vice president for development, $372,449

(Note that iany other employees who did not make the top 25 but may have earned more than Dunham, Jones, Gray and Kirsch would not be listed.)

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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