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Graph Designed by Makayla Grijalva

UNM Money-Makers

The Executive Vice President and Chancellor for the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center Dr. Paul Roth announced his retirement this month, setting an end date to the school's highest-paid employee.

In addition to Roth’s other duties, he also wore the hats of the dean of the School of Medicine and chief executive officer of the UNM Health System.

According to the UNM sunshine portal, Roth makes a total of $676,127 per year as of 2019 — about $50,000  more than the next highest-paid University employee.

The Daily Lobo took a look at the highest annual salaries at UNM and the jobs connected to them.

2. Gary Mlady, $626,621

After Roth, the second-highest-paid employee at UNM is Gary Mlady with the Department of Radiology. Mlady has been chair of the department since 2015 and has been working in the department since completing his residency at UNM in 2004.

3. John Russell, $555,561

Russell has been the chair of the department of surgery with UNM HSC for over a decade — since 2006.

4. David Lemon, $515,000

Lemon is a pediatric and general surgeon with the UNM Medical Group. He also serves as a professor of pediatric surgery in the UNM School of Medicine.

5. Aimee Smidt, $513,908

As the highest-paid woman at UNM, Smidt serves as chair of the dermatology department at UNM HSC, a position she was appointed to in 2017.

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6. Eve Espey, $505,388

Espey was named OB/GYN chair in 2014 after serving 17 years with UNM HSC, but first became a department faculty member in 1997.

7. Andrew Carlson, $489,648

Carlson is currently an assistant professor in the UNM HSC department of neurosurgery. He is an alumnus of the UNM School of Medicine.

8. Jess Schwartz, $488,000

Schwartz is an assistant professor in the department of surgery and the chief in the division of cardiothoracic surgery.

9. Jason McKee, $478,000

McKee works as an associate professor in the department of surgery — specifically the division of pediatric surgery.

10. Lena Perger $478,000

Like McKee, Perger also is an associate professor in the division of pediatric surgery in the department of surgery.

Every employee mentioned above works with UNM HSC — in fact, the top 16 highest-paid employees at UNM work with or at the hospital. When not factoring in those who work with UNM HSC, the list of highest-paid UNM employees starts to look a little different.


Graph Designed by Makayla Grijalva

1. Bob Davie, $422,690

When not considering those who work at HSC, Lobo football head coach Davie tops the list as the highest-paid University employee. With two games remaining in the 2019 season, he coached the Lobos to a 2-8 record but had to sit out two of those games while recovering from a serious medical incident.

2. Garnett Stokes, $412,000

Stokes became the 23rd University president and the first female to hold the position in 2018. She has a larger salary than the President of the United States, who makes $400,000 annually.

3. James Holloway, $320,000

The new UNM Provost Holloway was appointed to the position by Stokes earlier this year.

4. Teresa Costantinidis, $300,000

Costantinidis is also a new addition to the University, taking on the position of senior vice president of finance and administration at the beginning of July.

5. Eddie Nuñez, $300,000

Nuñez became the 13th UNM Athletics Director in 2017. He was appointed by Interim UNM President Chaouki Abdallah following the retirement of the previous AD, Paul Krebs.

6. Paul Weir, $300,000

Lobo men's basketball coach Weir came to UNM after spending a decade coaching at New Mexico State University. During the 2018-2019 season, he coached the Lobos to a 7-11 conference record and 14-18 record overall.

7. William K. Michener, $284,217

Michener works in the College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences. In addition to teaching as a professor, he also serves as project director for the New Mexico National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) programs.

8. Loretta Martinez, $272,950

Martinez was Stokes’ first appointment to a leadership position and began working as the University chief legal counsel in Oct. of 2018.

9. Gabriel Lopez, $267,903

Lopez has been working as the Vice President of Research since 2015. He also serves as a professor in the department of chemical and biological engineering.

10. Gruia-Catalin Roman, $267,147

Roman currently serves as a professor in the department of computer science. He previously served as the dean of the department of engineering from 2011-2014.

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Graph Designed by Makayla Grijalva

Out of the top ten highest non-HSC employees, three are new administrators appointed by UNM President Garnett Stokes in the past year or so — Holloway, Costantinidis and Martinez. Of the rest, three are in UNM Athletics and the other four are UNM administrators or former UNM administrators.

Administrators aside, the salaries of different levels of professors provide some additional insight into the pay at UNM. The average pay for those in UNM professorships is fairly low comparably to the highest paid person holding the same comparable position.

The largest pay disparity is seen in those holding both assistant professor and professor titles.

The average pay for an assistant professor is $110,648, but the range of pay is nearly $475,000 with the highest-paid assistant professor coming in at $489,648.

Of the different individual positions the Daily Lobo looked at, an employee with the title "professor" holds the lowest annual pay — just $2,500 a year. The average pay for professors is $139,321.

Of the other professorships, associate professors have an average of $89,135 annual pay. Distinguished professors have an average annual salary of $131,246. Professors of practice make $57,146 on average annually — the lowest of all professorships.

These numbers take into account all employees with the title assistant professor, associate professor, professor, professor of practice and distinguished professor as stated in the UNM sunshine portal. It does not account for campus or other positions held by the employee or those with "research" in their title.

Makayla Grijalva is the managing editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at or on Twitter @MakaylaEliboria

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