Education

Tight budgets could send university faculty elsewhere

Posted October 8, 2010

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— The prospect of another year of budget cuts is raising concern on University of North Carolina campuses about their ability to retain top faculty members.

Despite budget shortfalls nationally, some state universities outside North Carolina continue to offer raises for the best administrators and professors. As a result, the salaries in the UNC system now lag behind those of many peer institutions, UNC President Erskine Bowles said Friday.

"It puts you in a tough competitive position, the longer you have to stay in a freeze," Bowles told the UNC Board of Governors. "I expect we'll lose some additional leaders because of it. It's the price you pay in this kind of difficult time."

Money in hands UNC system faculty pay lagging behind other schools

The board is researching ways to raise pay for administrators and professors to remain competitive, but university system leaders say it won't happen until the state budget picture improves.

Fiscal analysts project a $3 billion state deficit for fiscal 2011-12, which starts next July. Bowles has already asked chancellors to begin drawing up a list of possible cuts next year to equal 10 percent of their annual budget.

"We're not fools. We understand the predicament that the state's in right now, and so we're not rushing forward with any proposals (for pay raises)," said Hannah Gage, chairwoman of the Board of Governors.

Gage said better pay needs to at least be on the table for better days. Until then, keeping top college educators won't be easy.

"We're stuck, but we're trying to anticipate what we need to do," she said.

The Board of Governors is looking over executive salary comparisons, including information from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

3 Comments

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  • tarheel66 Oct 15, 2010

    Mr. Boyd: Arizona State is one example. See http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/06/09/522241/unc-raided-for-faculty-talent.html

    As for the first comment, the article is not about faculty going into the private sector. It's about them being bought by other universities, to the detriment of UNC students and UNC's reputation.

  • etshoney Oct 8, 2010

    I say goodbye to those who think the grass is greener and think they would have it so much better in the private sector. Please, please go out into the real world and get a taste of the average Joe's daily life. All of you should be GIVING BACK TO THOSE STUDENTS YOU CLAIM TO LOVE SO MUCH. Get rid of the paid grad students and get back to work. I'm sick of threats....there are only so many positions out there and I bet there are 10 qualified folks who would be happy to take their place and probably do a better job. At least they would be grateful for the opportunity. I believe we are ready to call their bluff. Please Leave!

  • wayneboyd Oct 8, 2010

    Mr. Bowles, to substantiate your claim in paragraph 3 of the above article, would you mind listing all of those schools who in times such as we are experiencing here in North Carolina have given raises and or promotions to members of their staff. Also would you list all employees in your schools who have received offers to locate go elsewhere.
    Thank you.