10% of college staff earning $100k-plus

The Great Recession brought high unemployment, government budget cuts and years without raises to many workers, but that’s hard to tell from Georgia public university payrolls.

Between 2007 and 2010, the number of six-figure staffers in the University System of Georgia jumped 30 percent, and the number making at least $200,000 rose 46 percent, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution review of state audit records.

More than 4,300 people — about 10 percent of system employees — were paid more than $100,000 a year in 2010.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said the numbers are frustrating to state leaders who have been chopping the budget since the recession began.

“At a time when we’ve had drastic cutbacks, we find a university system that continues to be in a spending mode,” Cagle said. “It is extremely frustrating when we are putting pressure on the university system to help us balance our budget and hear them say the sky is falling, only to find out that we are having a 46 percent increase. It seems unreasonable.”

University System officials said colleges are teaching about 40,000 more students since 2007. To meet that demand, college presidents hired new employees, promoted others to administrative positions and made counter-offers to keep talented faculty.

In Sunday's newspaper, the AJC takes a close look at the number of six-figure staffers in University System. It's a story you'll get only by picking up a copy of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution or logging on to the paper's iPad app . Subscribe today .