The University of Arizona has greatly reduced the number of employees who are paid $100,000 or more and paid entirely with state tax dollars.

There were 395 employees in the "$100,000 club" - that's 30 percent fewer than in 2008, and close to the number in 2005.

UA President Robert Shelton said that action was necessary because of state budget cuts.

There are also fewer employees at that pay level because of attrition and the continuing hiring freeze, said Allison Vaillancourt, the UA's vice president for human resources.

Some highly paid faculty are being paid through the federal research grants they attract, rather than through state funding sources, she added.

Most UA employees are earning the same paycheck they earned two years ago, and many were furloughed at least one day this year.

The UA needs to give some raises this year to retain talent, Shelton said.

About 6 percent of the faculty, 111 people chosen based on their performance, will receive a retention raise this year.

The UA lost 40 tenured or tenure-track faculty members to other institutions at the end of the last school year, Vaillancourt said. That's typical for the UA, but shows a higher turnover than other universities, she said.

Recently publicized examples of faculty losses include world-renowned heart surgeon Jack Copeland, who went to the University of California-San Diego, and ecology and evolutionary biology experts Nancy Moran and Howard Ochman, who left for Yale.

Contact reporter Becky Pallack at or 807-8012.

University of Arizona employee salary information as of October 2010