Several chancellors in the UNC System are getting pay bumps from the UNC Board of Governors.
The increases go beyond the 1.5 percent raise given to all state employees as part of the North Carolina budget passed by the General Assembly.
The adjustments include a 3.14 percent jump for UNC – Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt, above the 1.5 percent state-mandated increase. That brings Folt’s annual salary to $596,448. North Carolina State Chancellor Randy Woodson received an identical 3.14 bump over the 1.5 percent from the state to bring his salary to $617,376.
Chancellors at Appalachian State University, Elizabeth City State University, North Carolina Central University, UNC – Charlotte and Western Carolina also received bumps ranging from .81 percent to 14.63 percent for Charlotte Chancellor Philip Dubois. System President Margaret Spellings said his increase was due to “a pay equity issue that arose from the hiring of the new Chancellor at ECU.”
Spellings said these increases were an attempt to bring all of the chancellors across the system into the market range for their positions.
“This board has, for a couple of years now, been working to get competitive market salary ranges for each of the chancellors,” Spellings said after the meeting. “And this was the next step in that journey. And we are nearly there.”
The raises came after the Board of Governors approved pay raises for chancellors in November 2015 – a move that was criticized because of the secrecy that surrounded the increases.
Board chair Lou Bissette said the board “learned a lot of lessons last year.”
“We’ve determined that we didn’t do it correctly last year, but we think we did this year.”
Bissette added the board is moving toward more transparency in general, pointing to the public comment sessions now being held and that the board meetings are now streamed online.
Bissette said the board thought there were benefits from splitting the pay increases up, rather than just allocating the full increases last November.
“Nobody felt like that was a good thing to do in one bite,” Bissette said. “And so we made those increases. And then this pretty much completes that process that was begun two years ago when we had a market survey.”
Even with the increases, the two highest-paid chancellors – Woodson and Folt – are still below the market rate for their positions, according to the system’s figures, but every other chancellor is at least at the floor of the salary range.
“Here forward, we’re going to be looking at performance-oriented increases,” Bissette said. “But we needed to get everybody at least to the bottom part of their ranges.”
Woodson does have an incentive package that allows him to reach the market salary range for his position, but Folt does not. Spellings said the possibility exists that could change.
“There are, obviously, discussions at the [UNC – Chapel Hill] Board of Trustees about vehicles for Chancellor Folt that might be akin to Chancellor Woodson’s.”
As far as the performance metrics that will be used to decide future increases, those are still to be determined. Bissette said it is hard to find one umbrella that will cover all of the system’s institutions.
“The uniqueness of our system and the different campuses, that’s what makes this system great to me,” Bissette said. “But they are all different and unique, and there are not many times you can apply an across-the-board policy.”