Coaches, doctors are top earners at University of California

The records show the best-paid UC employee was Jim Mora, head football coach at UCLA. His total compensation last year was $3.5 million.
The records show the best-paid UC employee was Jim Mora, head football coach at UCLA. His total compensation last year was $3.5 million.
File photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The University of California had 28 employees who made more than $1 million last year — an elite group comprised of athletic coaches, doctors and hospital chief executives.

The university system released the data on Tuesday containing detailed payroll information for employees.

The top-earner within the UC system and among all state workers was Jim Mora, head football coach at UCLA. Mora's total compensation was $3.5 million, with all but $300,000 coming in bonuses and performance incentives.

UCLA head basketball coach, Steve Alford, the top payee in 2013, came in second last year, earning $2.7 million. Next in line was Dr. Khalil Tabsh, a specialist in maternal fetal medicine and obstetrics at UCLA. He made $2.3 million, the vast majority through research contracts and grants.

The current and former head football coaches at UC Berkeley, Sony Dykes and Jeff Tedford, respectively, also placed in the top 10 along with three surgeons, a pathologist who specializes in skin disorders, and the chief executive of UC San Francisco Medical Center.

"UC competes in many different labor markets for personnel — faculty, physicians, nurses, technology experts, administrative staff, investment personnel and others," the report on salaries stated. "To compete in these markets, UC must follow market practices as closely as possible."

The university said its 200,100-person payroll reached $12.6 billion in 2014, a 7.5 percent increase from a year earlier.

Fees associated with treating patients and other sources of revenue from teaching hospitals and the research of medical faculty covered 39 percent of that amount, while state funding and student tuition accounted for 23 percent.

Nearly all of the remainder came from sources such as the federal government, private contracts, grants and gifts.

Among senior executives, medical center CEOs grossed the most, from a low of $837,241 to a high of $1.6 million. The system's associate chief investment officer, senior manager of fixed income assets and chief investment officer also earned in the high six figures.

University President Janet Napolitano made $584,611 and has declined a 3 percent cost-of-living raise that all other non-unionized employees are getting next year.

Overtime pay and night shift differentials helped boost the base salaries of many nurses and campus police officers, sometimes significantly. Two police sergeants at UC Irvine, for example, managed to out-earn their chief by nearly doubling their base salaries through overtime.

Aside from doctors, faculty members who made the most came from the fields of law, business and economics.

The top earners in the University of California system:

  1. Jim Mora, UCLA head football coach: $3.5 million
  2. Steve Alford, UCLA head basketball coach: $2.7 million
  3. Khalil Tarsh, clinical professor and vice-chair, UCLA Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology: $2.3 million
  4. Ronald Busuttil, distinguished professor and executive chairman of the UCLA Department of Surgery: $2.2 million
  5. Daniel "Sonny" Dykes, UC Berkeley head football coach: $1.8 million
  6. Jeff Tedford, former UC Berkeley head football coach: $1.8 million
  7. Gordon Cohen, chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, UCSF Medical Center: $1.75 million
  8. Timothy McCalmont, professor of pathology and dermatology, co-director of UCSF Dermatopathology and Oral Pathology Service: $1.7 million
  9. Mark Laret, chief executive officer, UCSF Medical Center: $1.6 million
  10. Abbas Ardehali, professor of surgery and medicine, director UCLA Heart, Lung, and Heart-Lung Transplant Programs: $1.6 million.

This story has been updated.