State college chiefs earn more than Gov. Rendell: report

Little kids in Harrisburg think the governor must be the richest guy in Pennsylvania, if he gets to live in that vast ornate domed stone Capitol building, in a town where there's not much other industry to speak of besides spending the peoples' money.

But in the real world, not counting perks like free health care and flunkies to carry your stuff, nearly 100 Pennsylvania state employees actually make more than Gov. Rendell's $174,000 yearly salary, another 550 earn pretty close to what he collects; and the highest-paid are state college administrators, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette here.

"John C. Cavanaugh, chancellor of the State System of Higher Education [the state colleges], tops the list with a $327,500 salary...

"With a salary of $320,000, James Preston, executive director of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency [PHEAA, the student lender], isn't far behind Mr. Cavanaugh.

"Stephen M. Curtis, president of the Community College of Philadelphia, comes in third with compensation of $227,584, including a $37,500 housing and car allowance."

Missing from the list are the higher-paid people who oversee big free-spending colleges like Penn State, hospitals, health insurers, and other state-subsidized but privately-controlled institutions.