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UAMS dominates state salaries: UA System President is highest paid outside UAMS.

THE 50 HIGHEST-PAID STATE government employees work at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences at Little Rock. As a matter of fact, probably 90 of the top 100 state government employees are physicians at UAMS.

So, to diversify the rankings, Arkansas Business has divided its list of the highest-paid state government workers into two groups: those at UAMS and those elsewhere.

Dr. Carl Nelson, the chairman of orthopedics at UAMS, is the highest-paid state employee with a salary goal of $342,000. Dr. Stephen VanDevanter, an associate professor of surgery, is second with a salary goal of $291,170.

Most of the physicians at UAMS have a salary and a salary goal for the year.

"The physicians have a base salary, which is all appropriated and is part of public funds," says Pamela Gibson, director of legal and legislative services with the University of Arkansas system. "The doctors have a salary level that comports with the line-item maximum for the position of professor, assistant professor, associate professor or whatever the position is."

A provision in the appropriation bill allows UAMS to pay clinical faculty an additional amount equal to as much as twice the base salary, Gibson says. So a physician who sees enough patients and generates enough funds has a salary goal that could be three times the base salary, she says.

In most cases, the physicians do not have a base salary as high as the line-item maximum, Gibson says.

But for exceptionally qualified faculty members, UAMS is allowed to pay 25 percent above the normal line-item maximum. The salary goal in that case also would be about three times the base salary.

Most of the physicians meet their salary goal, so that figure is almost always the actual salary paid, Gibson says.

Even though the vast majority of the salaries are not paid from tax money, they are still considered as being paid from public funds.

"Not a penny of the special allowances money is what you would consider state tax dollars," Gibson says.

Maxed Out

At $342,000, Nelson is earning the maximum salary possible at UAMS, Gibson says.

"Carl Nelson is an extremely good physician," Gibson says. "We have people sent to him from all over the country and from around the world."

Gibson says many of the physicians at UAMS could earn higher salaries if they were in private practice.

The highest paid state government official outside UAMS is B. Alan Sugg, president of the University of Arkansas system, with a salary of $131,250.

John N. Mangieri, president of Arkansas State University at Jonesboro, is second with a salary of $127,750.

Dan Ferritor, chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, is third at $126,000.

"The annual budget for all of the campuses of the University of Arkansas is in excess of half a billion dollars," Gibson says. "The state general revenues portion of that is in the neighborhood of 36 percent. As you can see, the state funds a little over a third of our operations."

The remainder of the revenues comes from other areas, including fees, tuitions and patient billings at UAMS.

"The University of Arkansas, particularly at Fayetteville, does not compete for faculty with the other universities in the state," Gibson said. "They compete with the University of Texas, Cal Tech, MIT and other similar schools.

"The faculty at those schools makes a whole lot more than those at the University of Arkansas."
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Title Annotation:Arkansas, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences at Little Rock
Author:Smith, David (American novelist)
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Jan 11, 1993
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