SPECIAL REPORT: Making more than the president - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

SPECIAL REPORT: Making more than the president

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(WAOW) -- The President of the United States is a pretty high-paying gig.

But there are some state employees in Wisconsin that make even more than the country's commander in chief.

The president makes $400,000 a year.

But a Newsline 9 investigation found that nearly 30 state of Wisconsin employees made more than that in 2014.

These employees either worked for the state of Wisconsin Investment Board or for the University of Wisconsin.

Gary Anderson, coach of the University of Wisconsin-Madison football team, a public employee, made almost $2 million last year.

Over at the Wisconsin State Investment Board, executive David Villa made more than $1 million.

Now while it may be easy for everyday folks to get worked up over, Bryan Hellmer of the UW School of Business says it's important to know what these people do to understand why they make so much money.

Hellmer says what most of these employees share in common, is that they bring in revenue for the state of Wisconsin.

“So the state of Wisconsin Investment Board oversees the pool of money that funds the state of Wisconsin retirement system,” Hellmer said.

And according to Hellmer, they're good at their job.

"The results on the portfolio have been so good, that they've produced incremental assets for our retirees, and they've kept our pension system out of the kind of trouble that we've seen in other states," Hellmer told Newsline 9.

Hellmer said that investment board employees get bonuses for making the state money, which is why they've earned so much. But when it comes to the state-employed coaches who top the list for the highest earnings, things get muddied.

"It's a related concept. It's a little more complex because part of the money you cite is not coming directly from the state, but from other booster clubs and advertising and things like that, so it gets complicated," Hellmer said.

Newsline 9 reached out to the Wisconsin State Investment Board for comment, but they were not available for an interview.  

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