It pays to work for the State of New York – especially if you’re a high-ranking employee at SUNY or CUNY, payroll records reveal.
A total of 2,661 state employees, including 1,756 executive branch workers, were paid more than Governor Andrew Cuomo’s newly increased $200,000 salary, according to the data posted on the Empire Center for Public Policy’s SeeThroughNY.net website.
The highest-paid employee on the state payroll for the second consecutive year was Dr. Gary Green, a heart surgeon and clinical associate professor at SUNY’s Health Science Center in Syracuse.
His pay totaled $753,842.
Dr. Sreedhar Kallarkuri, a surgeon and assistant residency program director at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, was paid $678,705 last year.
Other top earners include SUNY Buffalo football coach Lance Leipold, who was paid $663,500 and basketball coach Nathaniel Oats, who was paid $442,105.
At Stony Brook U. football coach Charles Priore was paid $465,462 and athletic director Shawn Heilbron earned $425,714.
Some employees at Stony Brook also received hefty raises.
The pay for Gary Bie, payroll vice president at Stony Brook Hospital, skyrocketed from $131,561 to $647,718, the Empire Center said.
Meanwhile the pay for Carol Gomes, Stony Brook Hospital’s assistant vp of hospital affairs, jumped from $120,838 to $636,638, according to the analysis, which did not give an explanation for the increase.
A SUNY spokeswoman said Bie and Gomes were both promoted and that’s why they received substantial pay increases.
Bie is now chief financial officer and VP for Health System Finance and Gomes is interim chief executive officer and chief operating officer at Stony Brook’s hospital.
The heads of the two system are well compensated.
CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez receives a $670,000 salary.
SUNY Chancellor Kirstin Johnson is paid $662,515, records show.
Critics slammed the high SUNY and CUNY salaries as out of control.
“These are outrageous salaries for a public institution. They’re out of line,” said state Conservative Party chairman Gerald Kassar.
“There’s a heavy supplement of taxpayer dollars used to finance the public colleges. It’s hard to believe they can’t attract talented people for less,” he said.
Leading New York State government’s top pay list is nothing new for SUNY and CUNY.
“SUNY is competitive and cost effective when compared with any state system of public higher education. We want, and our students and the communities we serve demand, top faculty, doctors, researchers and others who add to a top rated academic experience, contribute to life saving medical advancement, educate the next generation of physicians, and add richness to our society through the arts and sports,” said SUNY spokeswoman Holly Liapis.
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