What you could buy with the salaries of MSU's 10 highest-paid employees
At a school with enrollment numbers that place it in the top 10 nationally, an athletics program that has trended consistently upward through the last 20 years and an alumni base of more than 540,000, MSU might as well be growing money.
Agricultural jokes aside, the latest fiscal report from MSU showed a revenue of $2.4 billion for the university, an increase of $183 million. With more than 50,000 students on campus, paying employees to teach and serve students costs the university just more than $1 billion. But who gets the biggest piece of the pie?
As is the trend in recent years across the nation, the school’s coaches lead the way in pay.
1. Mark Dantonio
- Position: Head Football Coach
- Base salary: $2,050,000
- What you could buy with yearly salary: Eight Lamborghini Huracans
After taking the reigns of a sliding program, Dantonio has quickly turned the gridiron fortunes around for the Green and White and undoubtedly helped grow MSU’s brand in facets outside of athletics. When athletics win and win big, money tends to flow more easily to the university from not only bowl payouts and more sellouts, but from donors as well. Dantonio's salary will see an increase as well after his contract was revised in February. Highlights of his revised contract include:
- $2,264,480 base compensation
- $1,000,000 supplemental compensation
- $700,000 contingent annual bonus
- $185,520 benefits
- $100,000 Nike shoe/apparel agreement
- $50,000 guaranteed performance incentives
Earlier in 2015, Dantonio ranked 21st in the nation in terms of pay with $3.7 million. That also placed him fifth in the Big Ten Conference behind Jim Harbaugh, Urban Meyer, James Franklin and Kirk Ferentz.
2. Lou Anna K. Simon
- Position: MSU President
- Base salary: $750,000
- What you could buy with yearly salary: 110,457 Crunchy’s Famous Burger before tax
The first female president of MSU has presided at her post since 2005. Under Simon's leadership, MSU has put a focus on land-grant values and continues to engage in ways to create better economic, social and overall environments, not only in Michigan but across the world.
President Simon asked the Board of Trustees during its December 2015 meeting to deny her a raise in salary and instead create a $50,000 scholarship awarded to a first-generation college student in the name of her and her husband, Dr. Roy J. Simon. Lou Anna K. Simon herself is a first-generation college student.
Simon’s pay in 2014 ranked sixth in the Big Ten and 23rd nationally of public universities, according to the Detroit Free Press.
3. Mark Hollis
- Position: Athletics Director
- Base salary:$688,000
- What you could buy with yearly salary: 229,333 double scoop servings at the MSU Dairy Store
One of the more visible athletic directors in the NCAA, Hollis has quickly become well-liked in Spartan Nation. Under Hollis, MSU athletics has amassed 27 Big Ten championships and student athletes have earned an overall better than 3.0 grade-point average.
Hollis’ base salary trails University of Michigan Athletics Director Warde Manuel, who makes a base salary of $800,000 a year. However, Hollis has been busy, as he will become the chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee in the 2016-17 academic year. He served as vice chair on the committee during the 2015-16 academic year.
Furthermore, Hollis’ ideas have lead to games on an aircraft carrier and the creation of placing basketball courts in the middle of football stadiums, an idea that’s been used at the last seven Final Four games, according to his biography on MSU’s website.
4. Suzy Merchant
- Position: Women’s Basketball Coach
- Base salary: $458,025
- What you could buy with yearly salary: 107,770 Long Islands at The Peanut Barrel during the Sunday special.
One of the more successful coaches at MSU, Merchant has garnered a record of 204-96 throughout her nine seasons. Behind her leadership, MSU women’s basketball has won two Big Ten championships and appeared in the NCAA Tournament seven times.
Her salary, however, pales in comparison to University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball coach, who makes just more than $2 million annually. Merchant’s base salary, however, is more than the individual salaries of U-M men’s basketball coach John Beilein and MSU men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo.
5. C. Konrad Gelbke
- Position: Distinguished Professor of Physics
- Base salary: $433,441
- What you could buy with yearly salary: 86,861 MSU T-shirts from Campus Corner
“As a researcher, I am intrigued by the time-dependent phenomena that occur when nuclei collide,” Gelbke said on his MSU biography webpage online.
That’s only the start for Gelbke, as he’s been with MSU since 1977 and works primarily with nuclear physics at MSU’s National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory.
6. Sanjay Gupta
- Position: Dean of Eli Broad College of Business
- Base salary: $425,000
- What you could buy with yearly salary: 56,666 Conrad’s Grill Number Ones
Gupta began his career at MSU in 2007 as a professor but rose through the ranks and was named Dean of the Eli Broad College of Business in 2015. Gupta’s work prior to becoming dean included the launching of innovative programs, which increased MSU’s business college’s ranking, according to his bio on MSU’s website.
7. Tom Izzo
- Position: Head basketball coach
- Base salary: $411,545
- What you could buy with yearly salary: 2,057 basketballs signed by Tom Izzo
Throughout Izzo’s 21 years as coach, MSU basketball rose to significant heights including seven trips to the Final Four, one national championship and 11 Big Ten titles. Izzo’s knack for producing talent and chemistry when it matters most has made him endearing to players and fans. His fiery and tell-it-like-it-is style have lead him to success.
While it may seem surprising that Izzo is not making more, he makes more in other compensation. According to Sporting News, he makes $4,006,955. Thus, his total earnings put him fifth in college basketball coach rankings.
8. Hyung T Kim
- Position: MD, MBA, Senior Associate Dean, Clinical Affairs, College of Human Medicine
- Base salary: $404,000
- What you could buy with yearly salary: 53,866 steak burritos from Chipotle
Before arriving at MSU, Kim was a part of U-M's internal medicine faculty and associate dean for clinical affairs and CEO of Southern Illinois University HealthCare at SIU’s School of Medicine.
9. Bengt Arnetz
- Position: Chair, Department of Family Medicine
- Base salary: $400,000
- What you could buy with yearly salary: 14 years of in-state undergraduate tuition plus room and board at MSU
Before arriving at MSU, Arnetz was a professor at Wayne State University and co-director and founder of the Wayne Wireless Health Initiative.
10. Roger J. Calantone
- Positions: Interim Chairperson Department of Marketing, Senior Advisor to the Dean for Integrative Research and Outreach Department, Eli Broad Chaired University Professor of Business in Marketing
- Base salary: $393,313
- What you can buy with yearly salary: 49 Sparty costumes
According to his MSU online biography, Calantone has been the author of more than 400 articles, five books and his work has appeared in publications like the Journal of Marketing and the Journal of Marketing Research, among others.