Athletics department salaries dwarf College of Media’s

By Sydney Wood, Assistant buzz Editor

As a Big Ten university, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a reputation to uphold when it comes to hiring athletics coaches, directors and other personnel. 

Because of the popularity and financial support behind the University’s athletics department, many figures in the department are paid hefty salaries. This raises the question of how salaries in the athletics department compare to salaries in other colleges, or in this case, how athletics salaries compare to those in the College of Media. 

Who are the highest-paid figures in the athletics department?

The highest-paid figures in the athletics department are Bret Bielema, the football coach; Brad Underwood, the men’s basketball coach; Ryan Walters, the defensive coordinator for the football team; and Anthony Petersen, the assistant coach for the football team.  

Bielema is the highest-paid figure in the athletics department, and his present salary is about $4.2 million. Underwood comes in second with a present salary of about $3.2 million, and Walters is next with a present salary of $858,000. Petersen comes in fourth with a present salary of $750,000. 

Who are the highest-paid figures in the College of Media?

The highest-paid professors in the journalism department are professor Leon Dash, professor Joseph Brant Houston, who is also the director of graduate studies in journalism, and professor Stephanie Craft, who is also the head of the Department of Journalism.  

Dash’s present salary is about $158,386, Houston’s is $159,095 and Craft’s is $137,680. Dash’s proposed salary was $161,553, Houston’s was $161,943 and Craft’s was $140,488.

The highest-paid professors in the advertising department are professor Janet Slater, professor Jacqueline Hitchon and professor Michelle Nelson. 

Slater’s present salary is $214,423, Hitchon’s is $136,529 and Nelson’s is $125,092. Slater’s proposed salary was $218,722, Hitchon’s was $138,986 and Nelson’s was $127,594.

The highest-paid professors in the media and cinema studies department are professor Jay Mark Rosenstein, professor of communications James Hay and associate professor Angela Aguayo. 

Rosenstein’s present salary is $132,708, Hay’s is $120,936 and Aguayo’s is $99,000. Rosenstein’s proposed salary was $135,362, Kay’s was $123,355 and Aguayo’s was $100,900. 

This year, College of Media Dean Tracy Sulkin’s salary is $247,500. Her proposed salary was $264,515.

She is the highest-paid person in the College of Media. Slater is the second highest paid and Dash has the third-highest salary in the college. 

How do the numbers compare?

Sulkin’s present salary is around $4 million less than Bielema’s. Though she’s the highest-paid figure in the College of Media, her salary is dwarfed by Bielema’s and the other highest-paid coaches in the athletics department. 

To put these numbers in perspective, Sulkin’s total salary is around 6% of Bielema’s salary and 8% of Underwood’s. It’s also 29% of Walters’ total salary and around 33% of Petersen’s. 

Compared to the athletics department, Sulkin’s salary is closest to Roger Denny, the executive senior associate director of athletics and chief operating officer for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. Denny’s salary is $220,000, and he is the 22nd most highly paid figure in the athletics department.

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