NewsRadio 920 WHJJ and the Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's new commissioner of postsecondary education would receive a salary of $175,000 under a deal forwarded to the director of administration for approval.

That is an increase from the $134,639 paid when the job was called commissioner of higher education.

Jim Purcell, who was formerly the higher education commissioner in Louisiana, began work on July 1. A public hearing on the salary increase was held on Monday by a state personnel administrator, and the increase was forwarded to the director of administration for approval, according to Clark Greene, the outgoing acting commissioner of higher education.

His contract also includes $15,000 a year paid into a supplemental retirement annuity and a state car for both business and personal use. The Board of Education will pay for all gas and repairs.

Purcell will oversee a system that includes a state university, a four-year state college, and one community college with six campuses.