If anyone ever doubted the profitability of the public sector, a list of the highest paid public employees in the Houston area published by the Houston Business Journal soundly refutes all suspicions — at least as far as the medical field goes.
Four employees from Houston's University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Texas Health Science Center earn more than $1 million each year, and many more earn in the upper six figures.
Topping that list is Dr. Ronald DePinho, who was named president of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center just last year. DePinho, a noted cancer researcher who happens to be married to Dr. Lynda Chin, another noted cancer researcher, rakes in $1.4 million annually. He is the only executive-level public employee in Houston bringing home a seven-figure paycheck.
However, the public salaries in the field of medicine are outshone by one area — college coaching.
Dr. Raymond Sawaya earns $1.1 million in his position of professor and chairman of the department of neurosurgery at M.D. Anderson, and Dr. Hazim Safi takes home $1 million as professor and chair of the department of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery at the UT Health Science Center.
The 25 highest-paid public employees in the Houston area are employed at Anderson or UTHealth. The median salary is $55,000 at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and $54,000 at the UT Health Science Center — both on the high end of the pay scale when compared with other Texas state agencies.
However, the public salaries in the field of medicine are outshone by one area — college coaching. The two top slots on the Texas Tribune's list of the state's 25 highest paid government employees are University of Texas head football coach Mack Brown, who rakes in more than $5.2 million a year, and University of Texas head basketball coach Rick Barnes, who makes $2.4 million annually.
Brown and Barnes are followed by Dr. Rodney James Rohrich, professor and chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, who makes $1.750 million, and DePinho.