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UNC chancellor's house gets $900K makeover

Posted October 17, 2008

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— The new chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will get to move into a university-owned home – newly renovated at the cost of nearly $1 million.

Holden Thorp will be the third chancellor to live at Quail Hill, a 7,500-square-foot home tucked away on 20 wooded acres in Chapel Hill.

Built in the 1960s, Quail Hill became the chancellor's home in 1995. Renovations preceded the arrival of the two other chancellors to live there; those projects cost $325,000 and $219,000 each.

So far, renovations ahead of Thorp's arrival have reached $903,000.

That figure caught some UNC alumni by surprise.

"Whew, that's steep," said Ann Mikan, a realtor and 1963 UNC grad. "I would get a new one."

"It does sound like a lot, but just giving me that number, it's hard for me to tell you if it's too much or too little without some facts around it," 1998 UNC grad Wesley Pulisic said.

Vice-chancellor Carolyn Elfand said the renovations included a lot of structural work – replacing heating, ventilation and air-condition systems; upgrading the electrical system; making changes to meet the fire code; and improving handicap accessibility.

The kitchen was also enlarged and gained new cabinets, appliances and a built-in coffee maker.

"I think the changes are very necessary and probably overdue," Elfand said. "The university holds a lot of functions in the home."

State funds did not go to pay for the renovations, Elfand said. Instead, the money came from the university's endowment fund.

Use of the university-owned residence is part of Thorp's total compensation package, which includes a $420,000 salary.

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  • something2say Oct 20, 2008

    quit_whining, you forgot the man also has over a dozen patents!!!! My guess he could get a private job making more and the house was part of the package deal!

  • findoutthefacts Oct 20, 2008

    I'm with impatient girl....UNC cries to the general assembly any time another UNC system school gets money to the point that they end up getting grossly more than anyone else. Then they use their endowment money on anything they want to since they had the State cover everything else.

    This is pure and simple greed!

  • quit_whining Oct 17, 2008

    Here's a little advice...go out get your BS in Chemistry from UNC, then apply and hopefully get into Cal Tech, spend three years earning peanuts, eventually earn your PhD, then apply and get hired at Yale for peanuts, then get hired back at UNC, teach a bunch of liberal cry babies (who think they DESERVE A's without working for it...sound familiar Obama supporters?) for a couple of years, bust your rump, kiss up to the right people, and eventually get hired as a Chancellor!

    Once you've done that, then you can tell me that you don't deserve 420k. If anyone could do that job they wouldn't be paying someone 420k to do it!! It was a publicly posted job, why didn't YOU apply for it!!

  • housemanagercary Oct 17, 2008

    Its from their "endowment fund"?? Unless they don't get a PENNY of tax payer money, it doesn't matter which account it comes out of!

  • DrJ Oct 17, 2008

    Carolina is getting ready to launch a $4 billion fund raising campaign. $900K is but a drop in the bucket, and you can bet that house/facility will be used over an over to entertain prospective donors.

    Some of you folks should get your knees fixed so they don't jerk so readily. hehe.

  • pwilliamson53 Oct 17, 2008

    This is sick and wrong. How many homes could be saved from foreclosure, or how many families could that amount feed? Talk about wasteful spending of money. Hope he can sleep good in his house while others worry about if they will have a place to sleep. Why not buy him a new less expensive house and use to money for grants for those who want to go to school and can't afford it cause their parents are struggling just to provide a roof over their heads... this is pitiful.

  • howdiditgettothis Oct 17, 2008

    Given the current recession (yes, it's a recession, although no one in the government wants to own up to it) -- this is wasteful and ridiculous spending -- i don't care where the money is coming from.

    i agree that if there is this much money languishing from alumni donations, then why not put it towards the current students needing financial aid........

    makes me rethink any donations to unc.......

  • input Oct 17, 2008

    Why does the President of UNC have a higher salary than the President of the United States? Multiply this ONE salary by all the colleges in the United States and no wonder parents cannot afford to send their children college.

  • billy Oct 17, 2008

    This is a disgusting amount in the best of times, and in the current recession it is sickening.
    Did I hear someone say: "Let them eat cake?"

  • MeatHead Oct 17, 2008

    they spend money on what they want! Like no raises for teachers and state employees.

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