RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina State University is regrouping after news that Chancellor Marye Anne Fox is leaving.
Fox plans to take a similar job at the University of California at San Diego. Fox told N.C. State's student newspaper that she is proud of what she accomplished at NCSU, saying the university is better off now then when she started six years ago.
There has been no announcement on who may replace Fox.
Fox's compensation package at UCSD is so impressive that UNC President Molly Broad said North Carolina cannot compete.
Broad told WRAL on Monday that keeping the UNC system in the salary race is a huge concern.
"We've been expressing to the Board of Governors our growing concern that the marketplace for university chancellors has continued to escalate," Broad said, "yet, in the last three years, we have not been able to provide salary adjustments to any of our chancellors."
In her letter to the Board of Governors about Fox's new job, Broad wrote: "Her departure underscores the growing challenge UNC campuses face in retaining top administrators in a very competitive national market."
Last year, Broad awarded 11 UNC system chancellors a controversial one-time bonus. She said such a bonus is necessary when chancellors are being recruited.
It is not just low salaries for chancellors, it is faculty members, too. Last year at UNC-Chapel Hill, for example, more than 100 professors received larger salary offers elsewhere. The university retained some, but not many.
According to Broad's office, the UNC system's 16 campuses need $20 million to bring faculty salaries to the average of peer institutions, another $24 million to make benefits comparable.
Sen. Marc Basnight said he understands the challenges. He recently wrote the Board of Governors, saying that "faculty and employee salaries are both responsibilities that the General Assemby should bear."
Broad hopes that happens before another chancellor moves on.
Right now, Chancellor Fox makes just more than $248,000 a year. Her predecessor in California made more than $280,000. If Fox's salary nears that, it would put her at the top of the scale, according to at least one salary survey.
reports that the median salary for a typical chancellor position is around $210,000 a year. On the higher end, it is about $254,000.
Of course the size of the institution, the chancellor's credentials and years of experience impact salary.