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What Alaska's top state officials were paid in 2013

Lisa Demer
An artistic rendering of a flyover of the Knik Arm bridge. The chief executive of the state corporation promoting the Knik Arm crossing made $153,000 in 2013, according to a new report from the state Department of Administration.
Courtesy: Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority
The State Capitol Building stands on Main Street in downtown Juneau, Alaska
SEANNA O'SULLIVAN

From Lisa Demer in Anchorage --

Top executives in Alaska state government made very good money in 2013, and University of Alaska officials were among those at the top of the list, according to the state's newly released annual report on executive compensation and travel.

Gov. Sean Parnell's executive team also is highly paid, according to the report for 2013:

-- Kip Knudson, director of state and federal relations, making more than $201,000

-- Mike Nizich, the governor's chief of staff, made more than $190,000

-- Parnell's salary was capped at $145,000

In most state agencies, commissioners are paid less than deputies or others who either have been in state government longer or have special qualifications, like physician Ward Hurlburt, chief medical officer in the Department of Health and Social Services, who made close to $182,000 in 2013. Health Commissioner Bill Streur, like all state commissioners, made $135,619.

Alaska's best-paid executive?

Dan Fauske, who collected more than $350,000 split between two jobs: $219,000 as head of the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. and another $137,000-plus in his new job as president of the newly separated Alaska Gasline Development Corp.

Close was Alaska Permanent Fund director Mike Burns, who made $321,029 last year managing the state's sovereign wealth fund, which has a market value approaching $50 billion.

Burns edged out University of Alaska President Patrick Gamble, who made $320,000 in addition to a privately funded housing benefit. Other university executive salaries, according to the report:

-- Brian Rogers, University of Alaska Fairbanks chancellor, made close to $313,000,  plus housing.

-- Tom Case, University of Alaska Anchorage chancellor, made close to $260,000.

-- University of Alaska Southeast chancellor John Pugh made more than $220,000.

The latter two didn't get housing, the report said. Three university vice presidents also made more than $200,000.

State corporations generally paid well, too:

-- Former Alaska Railroad president and chief executive Chris Aadnesen, who stepped down last fall, made more than $254,000.

-- Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority executive director Andrew Niemiec made more than $153,000 before leaving his job in December. (He collected another $92,000, largely for cashed-out vacation time.)

-- Craig Campbell, president of the Alaska Aerospace Corp., made close to $234,000 in salary.

The report covers commissioners, deputy commissioners, division directors, chiefs of staff, and other top posts. But hourly employees who earned big money through overtime weren't included.

Find Lisa Demer at 257-4390, ldemer@adn.com and, on Twitter, @lisa_demer.


Lisa Demer
Anchorage Daily News/ADN.com