Am I Right or Am I Wrong?

(York, PA) I typically do not send out email blasts on a Friday but I couldn’t let this opportunity pass by.

Yesterday, the PA State Senate held budget hearings and one of the agencies that testified in front of the Appropriations Committee was the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (also known as PASSHE).

PASSHE oversees 14 state-owned universities which includes:

1.  Bloomsburg University
2.  California University
3.  Cheyney University
4.  Clarion University
5.  East Stroudsburg University
6.  Edinboro University
7.  Indiana University
8.  Kutztown University
9.  Lock Haven University
10. Mansfield University
11. Millersville University
12. Shippensburg University
13. Slippery Rock University
14. West Chester University

The Chancellor of PASSHE appeared in front of the Appropriations Committee to answer questions.

One of my Senate Colleagues asked what the average salary was for a university professor – the Chancellor responded that it is approximately $85,000.

When it was my turn to ask questions I focused on his response of $85,000.

I stated to the Chancellor that this week did several stories on people employed by the state making more than $100,000.

I went on to tell the Chancellor that in the PennLive story there was reference to the swim coach at West Chester University who earned total compensation of $313,954 in 2016. And by the way, this same coach earned $420,172 in 2015.

I continued to walk the Chancellor through the compensation for the swim coach – his base salary was $77,285 and the rest of his compensation was additional income earned running summer swimming camps.

Then I asked the Chancellor this question:

When the swim coach retires will his pension be based on his base salary or his total compensation?

The Chancellor responded that it depends which pension program he is in.

Here is where my brain goes into overdrive.

I went on to say that if the pension is based on his base salary that may be reasonable, but if his pension is based on his total compensation – which I think will be the case here – that means a swim coach making over $300,000 per year could potentially get two thirds of $300,000 which is $200,000 per year for the rest of his life.

I will research the answer to this question next week and get back to you with the answer.

The $64,000 question is this –  Am I right or am I wrong?

Click on the links below to view the stories.

The story referencing the West Chester swim coach is in the second story.

One in 14 State Government Employees Made the $100,000 Club Roster in 2016

Meet the State Employees Who Had the Highest Earnings in 2016: $100,000 Club

We will have the answer next week.

I want to introduce another slogan:  “Harrisburg and State Government – the gifts that keep on giving.”

Have a great weekend.

Thank you,

Scott Wagner