With a $417,608 salary in 2019, Dr. Anthony Fauci is now the highest-paid federal employee, outpacing even the President of the United States.
However, 19 University of Texas employees make more.
Fauci, who is Director of the National Institute for Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and current Chief Medical Advisor to the President, became a household name after leading daily press conferences for the White House Coronavirus Task Force. The doctor makes more than all four million federal employees in the Executive Branch and has a salary significantly higher than the Branch's 2019 salary cap of $172,500. Fauci, alongside two other doctors that make more than the President, belongs to an exception of the rule made for doctors and scientists to compete with private corporations' salaries.
Federal salaries are still far from the pay of the private sector, however. In the most recent year available (2019), 10 medical professors, deans and department chairs at UT out-earned Fauci's salary. Charles Fraser, a world-renowned pediatric heart surgeon, is the highest-paid non-athletic employee with a $1,534,053 2019 salary. Carlos Mery, another cardiac surgeon involved in the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease program alongside Fraser, made $888,333. S. Claiborne Johnston, Dean at Dell Medical School, was the highest-paid dean at the university with a salary of $869,310.
UT and other universities have long held high salaries for their athletic programs. In 2019, then-head football coach Tom Herman made over $2.5 million, more than any other University of Texas employee and over six times more than Fauci. Herman earned 4,044.4% more than the national average for government employees.
Four other UT head coaches surpassed the medical adviser for the president's salary as well. Head men's basketball coach Shaka Smart came just behind Herman with a $2,156,639 salary, while baseball head coach David Pierce made just over $600,000, former women's head basketball coach Karen Aston made $484,633 and head track and field coach Edrick Floreal made a $466,500 salary. Two assistant football coaches also made the list, including then-defensive coordinator Todd Orlando ($1,183,593) and offensive coordinator Timothy Beck ($576,767). Texas' Athletic Director, Christopher del Conte, was the university's fifth-highest paid employee at $893,333.While Fauci made less than 19 UT employees, his salary still put him ahead of members of the House of Representatives and Senators, who will make $174,000 this year. All of UT's top 100 employees made more than U.S. Representatives and Senators in 2019, while 61 make more than the nation's four-star military generals.
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Designs for stations along Project Connect’s Blue Line were presented this week, giving a detailed look at what part of the rail system extending from downtown to the airport could look like.
The planned stations that have gotten the latest focus include Waterfront, Travis Heights and Lakeshore stations past Lady Bird Lake.
At the Waterfront station, the preliminary design aims to prevent visual obstructions and save on costs. This is accomplished by a transit guideway that will lower from the bridge to a level station.
Heading onto East Riverside Drive, the light rail faces a curve requiring a slow down to about 10 miles per hour.
The Travis Heights station could involve relocating a pedestrian crosswalk zone at Alameda Drive to Blunn Creek. Since light rails can't effectively operate on a steep grade, this allows the transit guideway to avoid that.
From there, the rail will extend to the Norwood Park area, and though it will reach along the right-of-way zone, the park will be able to remain open.
A view of the Blue Line by Lady Bird Lake. (Project Connect)
The line involves some coordination with the Texas Department of Transportation. That's because the department is working on an intersection that will have to be built before the phasing of the section of the Blue Line involving an I-35 crossing.
When it comes to the safety of cyclists and walkers, design ideas include a pedestrian hybrid beacon by East Bouldin Creek that would provide a protected signal to cross. And for the intersection TxDOT is carrying out, Project Connect is working with them on pedestrian access across the intersection. It could involve shared use paths along the street and crossings beneath it.
This summer, the public can expect 30% of design and cost estimates to be released. Though the project was $7.1 billion when voters approved it in November 2020, the latest estimates factoring in inflation and supply chain constraints show it could ultimately be upwards of $10 billion.
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Plans for an Amazon warehouse in Round Rock—a $250 million project slated to be a large distribution center—are on hold.
This comes just after the tech giant had its worst financial quarter in seven years.
- Late last year, it announced an expansion at the Domain adding 2,000 more corporate and tech jobs.
- Amazon still owns the site in Round Rock. Plans for it are unclear.
- Early this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon is aiming to scrap warehouse space as it faces a slowdown in its e-commerce operations.
Part of that effort involves exploring the possibility of ending or renegotiating leases with outside warehouse owners. Another aspect is a plan to sublease warehouse space.
“It allows us to relieve the financial obligations associated with an existing building that no longer meets our needs,” an Amazon spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal. “Subleasing is something many established corporations do to help manage their real estate portfolio.”
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