CHAPEL HILL, N.C. ― Governors of North Carolina’s public university system planned to gather Friday under pressure over a closed-door meeting that resulted in big pay raises for a dozen top campus executives.
The University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors was scheduled to meet to decide whether to release details of the private meeting two weeks ago that approved pay raises of up to 20 percent for chancellors at 12 of the state’s 17 campuses. The board acted after consultants told them the chancellors were underpaid.
The board waited until after the raises took effect to disclose their decisions. Salaries of public employees must be disclosed under state law. The raises were retroactive to July 1.
State legislative leaders want “any and all records in the University’s possession regarding” the Oct. 30 meeting, wrote Andrew Tripp, a top legal adviser to state Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham.
The demand comes ahead of a meeting Wednesday where lawmakers will review the board’s recent actions.
Some faculty members have complained about the raises for chancellors when they say their pay has been stagnant for years. University faculty and other employees received a $750 bonus but no raises this year. East Carolina University faculty members passed a resolution opposing the raises, including more than $62,000 given to Chancellor Steve Ballard.
The raises come at a time “tuition at North Carolina’s public universities has risen by 35.8 percent since 2008 and the state legislature has slashed funding,” says a petition urging Appalachian State University Chancellor Sheri Everts to give up her $50,000 pay raise.
The university board on Friday also planned to hear a brief presentation on efforts to increase faculty pay over the past five years, system spokeswoman Joni Worthington said. No salary actions are planned, she said.