Hats' Off To Bradford E. Choate
According to recently-updated State Employee Salary information compiled by The State newspaper, 99 of the 100 highest-paid state employees work at one of three places - the University of South Carolina, Clemson University or the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).
Starting with University of South Carolina Vice President Bradford E. Choate's whopping $303,850 salary, it obviously pays to be in higher ed in South Carolina - if you're not a taxpayer, that is.
No wonder South Carolina spends 17% of our state budget (compared to the national average of 10%) feeding the beast that is our bloated, over-extended, wasteful, duplicitive, inefficient, tuition-raising and utterly resistant to change system of higher education.
Hell, USC Vice President Choate's cost-of-living adjustment alone is probably more than a lot of honest, hard-working South Carolinians make in a year.
Seriously, what does Choate do to earn that kind of jack? Play golf with Department Chair Muhammed A. Khan ($261,732)? Sit in on a lot of important meetings with Provost Mark P. Becker ($250,100) and Associate Provost William T. Moore ($245,000)? Simultaneously give Athletics Director Eric Hyman ($288,750) a back rub while holding Steve Spurrier ($257,500)'s headphones?
We're not kidding, if this guy takes one red cent of per diem travel expenses, uses one single frequent flyer mile improperly or fails to double-bunk with USC President Andrew Sorenson ($235,877) on one out-of-state junket, he should be required to wash dishes at the Palmetto Club for a week (our bet is he wouldn't last an hour).
We'll have a lot more in the days and weeks to come on the updated state salaries (including the $117,114 Marxist Economist Bill Gillespie gets paid each year to lobby against tax cuts on behalf of John Rainey when the Legislature's in session), but for now it's safe to say that if you want to earn some real coin of the realm, higher ed's the place to be.