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With million-dollar paydays, Rutgers is making sure its medical school has a sporting chance

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- (NJBIZ file)

Longtime critics of Rutgers' move to big-time athletics always have had one rallying cry:

"How can an academic institution pay its football coach more than its president?"

What will they say now that 25 Rutgers employees now make more than President Robert Barchi's salary of $741,448, according to a report out Tuesday in The Record.

Dr. Robert Heary, a neurosurgeon and spine specialist, earned $3,058,155 last year, by far the largest salary on campus. Heary is one of 13 doctors who made more than $1 million, but the only one to eclipse the $2 million mark.

The big salaries came aboard when the school absorbed most of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey last July.

While a large part of these salaries come from the billing of patients, the large number of millionaires was eye-opening.

Proponents of the pay argued it was the going rate for top doctors at universities, which compete to land the best ones. (This, of course, is the argument the athletic department always has made for years).

Opponents say there is limit and that Rutgers appears to have exceeded it.

And while the football coach — as well as its men's and women's basketball coaches — is on the list, they are the only ones from the athletic department with coach Eddie Jordan exceeding the $1 million mark annually.

In all, 67 employees at the school made more than $500,000, according to the report.

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