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N.C. State tries to move forward after Easley controversy

Posted June 9, 2009

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— Interim North Carolina State University Chancellor Jim Woodward says admitting that mistakes were made in the hiring of former first lady Mary Easley is part of repairing the university’s reputation.

“We made some mistakes that obviously damaged this institution,” Woodward said. “The mistakes we made were not recognizing early enough the political, the potential damage.”

The North Carolina State Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Monday to terminate Easley’s contract.

Easley had resisted calls in recent weeks to step down from her $170,000-a-year job at N.C. State, despite a growing controversy.

Last year, Easley received an 88 percent pay increase when she signed a five-year contract. N.C. State officials defended the move, saying she had taken on additional duties.

Provost Larry Nielsen and McQueen Campbell, the chairman of the Board of Trustees, resigned last month amid questions over their roles in Easley's hiring. Chancellor James Oblinger submitted his resignation Monday after officials questioned the lucrative payout he negotiated with Nielsen as he transitioned into a faculty position.

Woodward, the former leader at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, says N.C. State must be more open and sensitive to public opinion.

“It's a terribly embarrassing thing for the university to go through,” Gary Pearce, Democratic political consultant, said Tuesday.

Pearce, an N.C. State graduate, believes it's the perception of cover-up that often gets people in trouble.

“If the chancellor had just been forthright about it…If he had just said, 'Here's what happened, here's the whole story,' there may have been some damage and some controversy, but it would not have gone on like this,” Pearce said.

The university’s woes are continuing over the salaries of two resigned administrators.

Despite Oblinger and Nielsen’s resignations, both men are set to keep their administrator salaries for months as they transition back to teaching. GOP lawmakers have proposed budget amendments to block what they call unfair golden parachutes.

With the damage done, Woodward said he will be sending Easley her termination letter and working to rebuild the university’s reputation.

“Let us earn any trust that we may have lost,” Woodward said.

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  • TheAdmiral Jun 11, 2009

    NC State should be fully audited from the top to the bottom for ethics and procedure issues before they decide to move on.

    I think we can whittle out some more unethical morons.

  • ncblue2 Jun 11, 2009

    Don't forget that the politicians are moving forward with raising taxes without dealing with the corruption.

    ==========================

    Absolutely ! They don't want to expose their OWN corruption !!!

  • nufsaid Jun 11, 2009

    Don't forget that the politicians are moving forward with raising taxes without dealing with the corruption.

  • nufsaid Jun 11, 2009

    As long as Mary or those that resigned get paid any money this is not over. Not to mention Bowles. The corruption needs to stop. Or at least slowed down'

  • Stringbean Jun 11, 2009

    When they are all off the pay-roll thats whan they can move forward.Till then its more of the same

  • flipper59 Jun 10, 2009

    I can’t even imagine what WOULD be happening in today’s times, the things going on behind tax payers backs if not for the exposure from WRAL and the papers.
    You would think after Jim Black and all the others these people would think they will get caught.
    I honestly believe some of them don’t care about their name being ruined.
    It’s almost like drug dealers. Bust one, here is another taking that ones place
    Greed!!

  • ncblue2 Jun 10, 2009

    Lt. Governor Bev Perdue was oblivious to all this going on too? Yea, right.

    Bev knew exactly knew what was going on. When voting time comes, vote her out. She is not doing nothing for NC. Where are the jobs?

    ====================================

    Agree ! She was elected because many people just voted straight ticket like Obama -> Democrat. Let it go !

  • Professor Jun 10, 2009

    Lt. Governor Bev Perdue was oblivious to all this going on too? Yea, right.

    Bev knew exactly knew what was going on. When voting time comes, vote her out. She is not doing nothing for NC. Where are the jobs?

  • Professor Jun 10, 2009

    Will the former governor divorce his wife? He should.

  • walkindogs Jun 10, 2009

    psm5000:
    My son will graduate from NCSU in December. He will be getting dual degrees in Biochemistry and Spanish. I can assure you that the greed and self indulgence is NO reflection of the type of education your child will receive. I also believe the actions of this "cast of characters" should have no reflection on getting a job after graduating from NCSU.

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