Transparent California Releases 2014 Salary Data for California State and University Employees

For Immediate Release
July 14, 2015
California Policy Center
Contact: Robert Fellner
(201) 206-6469

Transparent California Releases 2014 Salary Data for California State and University Employees

Average State compensation package is $110,663; Average CSU compensation is $103,864

TUSTIN — Today, released previously unseen 2014 salary and benefits data for 240,531 California State and 62,540 California State University (CSU) employees.

The average compensation package for full-time, year-round California State employees was $110,663, with 91,944 employees earning at least $100,000 in total compensation. Full-time, year-round employees are defined as those receiving a base salary of equal or greater than the “annual salary minimum” associated with their position.

The highest earner was Theodore H Eliopoulos, who earned $856,543 as chief investment officer for CalPERS.

The next three highest earners were:

Foley’s pay was boosted by a lump sum payout of just under $350,000, most likely coming from cashing in unused vacation or sick leave. John Dupre, a staff psychiatrist at San Quentin state prison, had the largest lump sum payout of any state employee, receiving just under $460,000.

The top 10 departments with the highest average earnings, for those with at least 500 employees, are displayed below:

Average 2014 Compensation by State Department

Department Average Compensation Count
California Highway Patrol $152,799 9,682
Court Of Appeal $137,085 575
Judicial Council $128,376 601
Corrections And Rehabilitation $127,444 38,362
Forestry And Fire Protection $126,839 4,889
Air Resources Board $124,933 1,048
Water Resources $123,572 2,381
Corrections And Rehabilitation/CCHCS $118,668 2,413
Water Resources Control Board $117,478 1,376
Dept Of State Hospitals $113,899 7,271

California State University

The average compensation for CSU employees was $103,864. The top earner was Zarin Mehta, co-executive director of the Green Music Center at Sonoma State, who made $596,957 in 2014.

The next three highest earners were:

The average compensation for all 21 presidents in CSU was $416,321. The top 10 highest compensated positions, for those with at least 100 employees, are displayed below:

Average 2014 CSU Compensation by Job Title

Job Title Average Compensation Count
Administrator IV $225,758 473
Administrator III $163,788 1001
Department Chair – 12 Month $157,357 350
Instructional Faculty – 12 Month $148,750 161
Department Chair – Academic Year $146,773 254
Instructional Faculty – Academic Year $123,539 7319
Police Officer $123,115 133
Administrator II $120,261 1515
Analyst/Programmer -12 $113,969 511
Librarian – 12 Month $112,079 177

Ed Ring, executive director of the California Policy Center remarked that, “It is unsurprising that the California Highway Patrol has the highest compensation of any department in the state, given their extremely lucrative pension benefits that are now costing taxpayers a record high 43.5 percent of payroll.” Ring went on to say that, “despite misleading promises that these pension enhancements would cost taxpayers nothing, the exact opposite happened.”

To view the entire report in a searchable and downloadable format, visit


To schedule an interview with California Policy Center executive director Ed Ring, please contact Robert Fellner at 201 206-6469 or

Transparent California is California’s largest and most comprehensive database of public sector compensation and is a project of two nonpartisan, free-market think tanks, the California Policy Center and Nevada Policy Research Institute. Learn more at


12 replies
  1. Avatar
    Tough Love says:

    Quoting …”Timothy P Foley – dentist at Fairview State Hospital made $710,917.”

    Details from clicking on his name:

    Regular pay: $276,821.01
    Overtime pay: $0.00
    Other pay: $351,397.34
    Total pay: $628,218.35
    Total benefits: $82,698.51
    Total pay & benefits: $710,916.86

    What is in the $351,397.34 of “other pay”?

  2. Avatar
    Robert Fellner says:

    A lump sum payment defined as: “The dollar amount paid to the employee for one-time cash outs (such as paid excess vacation and sick leave).”

  3. Avatar
    Rex the Wonder Dog! says:

    The “other” pay is either cashed out unused vacation or sick leave or both; or the infamous “DROP” scam.

  4. Avatar
    Rex the Wonder Dog! says:

    Other pay:
    Total pay:
    Total benefits:

    Total pay & benefits:

  5. Avatar
    Tough Love says:

    Yup $351,397.34 of TAXPAYER money that (with the possible exception of 1 year of unused “vacation” pay) he assuredly would NOT have received if he were a PRIVATE Sector worker.

    In the PRIVATE Sector, “sick days” are for when you are SICK, and can never be accumulated for cashout upon retirement.

  6. Avatar
    Ozark says:

    Where are the sports coaches? Are they not considered University employees? Quite a few of them make more than the top guys listed above.

  7. Avatar
    Robert Fellner says:

    Hi Ozark,

    For some reason, CSU lists them under the job title of “Administrator IV.” I only discovered this because someone else pointed it out. San Diego State head coach, Stephen Fisher, is on there making around $350k or so.

    University of California coaches make much more, in the millions of dollars, but they are their own system and not a part of CSU. Their 2013 data is on the site here:

    As you suspected, the top head coach was paid $2.6M in salary alone.

    The 2014 UC data should be out soon.

  8. Avatar
    Tough Love says:


    Does that $2.6 Million salary function as his “pensionable compensation” for determination of his pension (i.e., it’s NOT capped at a MUCH lower figure). If not, and he has 25-30 years of service and retires with that salary, the “value” of his pension upon retirement would likely exceed $40 Million.

  9. Avatar
    Robert Fellner says:

    Definitely not pensionable, head coaches may not even be in the pension system given the nature of their jobs.

  10. Avatar
    eddie says:

    Tough love, you sure do complain a lot about the salary……why not join them? I can’t believe you complain about a guy getting cashed out for unused sick pay??? He’s not a lame duck that calls in sick and rather, goes to work like a hardworking man. Regardless, if he had used his sick pay while working, he would have been compensated regardless….

Comments are closed.