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New medical school dean to earn $725,000, more than U of M president

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After a six-month national search, the University of Minnesota Thursday announced that a physician and internationally known researcher has been named as the new dean of the U's medical school.

MPR News reported that Dr. Jay Brooks Jackson will also serve as the university's vice president for Health Sciences and will lead the six health professional schools within the university’s Academic Health Center. The appointment must be approved by the University’s Board of Regents next month.

Jackson's annual salary will be $725,000, which would make him the third-highest paid public employee in the state on a recent list of the top 20, with a bigger salary than U of M President Eric Kaler but less than the head Gopher football and men's basketball coaches.

In June, Forum Communications compiled a list of top earners at the University of Minnesota and found that former Golden Gophers men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith earned about $1.89 million in fiscal year 2012. Smith, who was fired in March, was followed on the list by Gophers head football coach Jerry Kill with total pay of about $1.26 million. University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler claimed the third spot on the list, with total pay of $588,885.

Since that list was compiled, the Gophers hired Richard Pitino as the men's basketball coach. At the time he was hired, it was reported that the 30-year-old would earn $1.2 million a year for six years.

A recent Associated Press story noted that at least 145 city and county officials around the state make more than the governor's salary of around $120,000. Previously, a cap on public salaries prevented public employees from outearning the governor without a specific exemption.

Jackson is currently director of pathology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He served his residency at the University of Minnesota. He is an internationally recognized researcher in HIV prevention and treatment, credited with being part of the team that revolutionized HIV prevention in developing countries. The university press release praised the work, saying it resulted in drug development and neonatal HIV prevention that "...saved thousands of infants from starting life with HIV infection."

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