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Is UH's chancellor overpaid? Renu Khator tops list of public officials who make bank

News_Renu Khator_University of Houston
Renu Khator of the University of Houston

Editor's note: The Houston Business Journal rankings do not include public officials at Texas Medical Center institutions affliated with universities. A Texas Tribune ranking of the Top 25 Government Employees salaries in the state lists several officials at the University of Texas Health Science Center and University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center who earn between $710,000 and $1.2 million per year. 

UH president Renu Khator does not make the Top 25 in the state based on her $500,000 yearly salary in the Texas Tribune rankings. The Houston Business Journal has since removed the article from its website.


Looking to make money while employed by Uncle Sam? Go into academia, not politics.

The Houston Business Journal released its list of the highest paid public officials in Harris County and University of Chancellor Renu Khator topped the list with a salary of $500,000.

UH athletic director Mack Rhoades took the second spot with a salary of $350,000, and of the top 25 spots, half belong to University of Houston system employees.

 Khator's salary is pretty standard among large public university chairs. The president of The University of Texas at Austin, William Powers, makes $613,000, and A&M president R. Bowen Loftin earns $425,000. 

To compare, Houston Mayor Annise Parker takes home $209,000 according to The Texas Tribune, slightly less than the salaries paid to police chief Charles McClelland and city attorney David Feldman. HISD superintendent Terry Brooks Grier makes $300,000. 

And Khator's compensation isn't limited to her salary — she also lives in the impressive mansion reserved for the chancellor and likely receives some sort of deferred or retirement compensation as well as potential merit bonuses.

None of this is to say that Khator is overpaid. UH has made tremendous improvements during her tenure, including more investment in research and being named a Tier One university for the first time by the Carnegie Foundation. She has led UH to the top of the pack of seven public universities angling for official Tier One designation from the state legislature, with all the additional funding and status that bestows.

Khator's salary is also pretty standard among large public university chairs. The president of The University of Texas at Austin, William Powers, makes $613,000, and A&M president R. Bowen Loftin earns $425,000.

Actually, it's nice to see a university that lists an academic head, not a coach, as the employee with the highest compensation. Of all the public employee salaries listed by the Tribune, UT coach Mack Brown makes the most at over $5 million per year.

So actually, if you want to earn serious money as a public servant, I guess you should take up football.

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