Alain Kaloyeros, vice president and chief administrative officer at the College of Nanoscale science and Engineering and an expert in the field of nanotechnology, became the highest paid employee after the State University of New York (SUNY) chancellor approved a $142,000 per year raise, bringing his annual salary to $666,995, the Associated Press reports.
By contrast, Governor's Spitzer's annual salary is $179,000.
SUNY defended the salary by stating that Kaloyeros's work was a catalyst for attracting high-tech computer companies to the state, and that his raise was because of additional responsibilities.
Spitzer doesn't begrudge the money either; his spokesperson tells the AP that Spitzer believes the raise was well-deserved and "a competitive salary was necessary to attract the necessary talent."
However, the salary seems to have caught some legislators off-guard. State senate majority leader Joseph Bruno told the Associated Press that he was surprised by the salary increase. "I believe this warrants an explanation," says Bruno. "I honestly don't know what is valid and what is competitive."
The news service describes Kaloyeros as a colorful figure who once drove a car with a vanity license plate that read: "GEEK".