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State Senator: Professors Are Paid Too Much

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Photo Of The Quad At The University Of Illinois. (U Of I Photo)

Photo Of The Quad At The University Of Illinois. (U Of I Photo)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS/WBBM) – To hear one state senator tell it, life as a public servant can pay very, very well.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Dave Dahl reports, Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Cicero) says too many professors make too much money.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Dave Dahl reports


Sandoval says there’s a link between the high salaries and high tuition at state universities, the Springfield State Journal-Register reported.

He says one should ask graduates how big their student loan debt is, and whether it’s worth it.

“They would question today the perspective of many of these university administrators and professors that it’s worth the buck, because they never really, necessarily, got a job as a result of it,” Sandoval said.

Sandoval is behind two bills. One, Senate Bill 114, would freeze tuition and fees at state universities for two academic years. The other, Senate Bill 131, would create an executive inspector general focused on higher education, the State Journal-Register reported.

University of Illinois spokesman Tom Hardy says state government is not helping.

“Not only has the state’s support declined, the state is $400 million behind right now, with its fiscal year,” Hardy said.

A 53-page list was released showing the high salaries of some state employees, many of them in the higher education system. At the top of the list are two professors at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine – Dr. Khaled Saleh, chairman of the orthopedics and rehabilitation chair, and Dr. Russell Yan, professor of clinical internal medicine and division chief of gastroenterology, the State Journal-Register reported. Both make $600,000 a year.

The university says state funding does not go toward their salaries. But state funding does contribute to the salaries of Dr. Gary Dunnington, professor and surgery department chair at the SIU medical school, who makes about $532,000 a year and gets almost $397,000 from the university’s state funds, the State Journal-Register reported.

By contrast, the President of the United States makes about $400,000. The governor of Illinois makes about $177,000. Sandoval suggests public employees should keep those numbers in mind.

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