Slatt to Head OU School of Geology and Geophysics

THE JOURNAL RECORD, November 29, 2000 | Go to article overview

Slatt to Head OU School of Geology and Geophysics


Roger M. Slatt, formerly head of the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines, has been selected as director of the University of Oklahoma School of Geology and Geophysics.

"Roger Slatt brings a wealth of academic, industry, and professional experience to the leadership of the School of Geology and Geophysics as it enters its second century of service to Oklahoma," said John Snow, dean of the College of Geosciences.

After receiving his doctorate from the University of Alaska in 1970, Slatt taught geology for eight years at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Arizona State University. He spent the next 14 years in the petroleum industry, working for Aaro Research, Aroc International Oil and Gas Cities Service Research before joining the Colorado School of Mines in 1992.

For the past five years, he also served as director of the Rocky Mountain Region Petroleum Technology Transfer Council.

Paying coaches

High school football coaches in Oklahoma earn an average of 38 percent more than high school teachers, according to a published report.

Oklahoma high school teachers earn an average annual base salary of $31,115, but high school football coaches earn an average salary of $42,868, the Tulsa World reported.

The disparity is far greater in the state's most prominent football programs. The 50 highest-paid football coaches in the state make an average annual salary of $52,512, or 69 percent more than the average teacher.

"I am certainly not unsupportive of athletics," state Superintendent of Schools Sandy Garrett said. "I just think the classroom teacher needs to be the prize employee of a district."

In many cases, classroom teaching is secondary when it comes to paying coaches. Only seven of the 20 highest-paid coaches are full- time classroom teachers.

Full-time salaries for football coaches range from the $68,600 paid to Ada's Larry McBroom, who has no classroom assignment, to the $30,186 paid to Newkirk's Sonny Schovanec, who teaches history. McBroom's salary is just $6,400 less than Garrett's and nearly double that of the average Ada High School classroom teacher. It also tops the salaries of several superintendents across the state.

The World examined the contracts of each of the 315 varsity head football coaches at the state's public schools. Private schools, which do not have to comply with the Oklahoma Open Records Act, did not respond to the newspaper's information request.

Most Oklahoma high school football coaches receive extra-duty pay on top of their teaching contracts. Coaching pay, like other extra- duty pay, is determined by each district.

One trait is universal, though: Extra-duty pay for football is consistently much higher than extra-duty pay for other sports and activities. And football coaches often are reimbursed separately for other football-related extra duties, such as supervising weightlifting, working summer hours, assisting lower levels of school football and serving as an athletic director, assistant athletic director or athletic coordinator.

"My personal opinion is it looks like in some cases there is an overemphasis on football," said Keith Ballard, executive director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association. "We need to be careful about not getting out of balance."

It's not so much that many football coaches in Oklahoma are overpaid, but that teachers are underpaid, said Milt Bassett, executive director of the Oklahoma Coaches Association. Indeed, Oklahoma teacher salaries are consistently ranked near the bottom nationally.

"I'm very disappointed our pay continues to be so low for teachers," Garrett said, "and so many of them have to look at other opportunities to enhance their pay by going into extra-duty situations, whether it's driving a bus or being a coach or sponsoring cheerleaders. …

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