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NCSU outlines appeal process for Mary Easley

Posted July 2, 2009

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— North Carolina State University lawyers laid out the process Thursday to hear an appeal from Mary Easley about the elimination of her position at the school. In a letter to Easley’s lawyer dated July 2, Drew Nelson, assistant general counsel for the university, acknowledged Easley’s plan to file a grievance and outlined how it would be addressed.

The letter reiterated the university’s reason for firing Easley. “As you are aware, particular programs that Mrs. Easley was hired to administer … are being eliminated or reduced at NC State due to current of expected economic conditions,” the letter said.

The university's Board of Trustees terminated Easley's five-year contract June 8, ending her $170,000-a-year job as an executive-in-residence and senior lecturer.

Questions surrounding her hiring in 2005 and an 88 percent pay raise last year have caused a shake-up at the school, leading to several top university administrators, including the chancellor, resigning from their posts.

In a letter dated June 10, the chancellor of the university identified economic downturn and the elimination of the program where she worked as the reason for her termination.

In dismissing Easley, interim Chancellor James Woodward made no mention of the controversy over her hiring and salary, writing only that the programs she was hired to administer would be "eliminated or severely reduced."

The issue is a legal matter, and some attorneys have said it is easier to terminate a personnel contract on the grounds of budgetary restraints as opposed to cause.

Easley is not eligible for severance package.
Federal investigators have subpoenaed information about her job in connection with an investigation into the finances and influences of former Gov. Mike Easley.

Documents turned over to a federal grand jury include e-mails showing the former governor discussing a job at N.C. State for his wife.

N.C. State Chancellor James Oblinger, Provost Larry Nielsen and McQueen Campbell, the chairman of the Board of Trustees, resigned from leadership positions at the university amid questions over their roles in her hiring. All three have denied any wrongdoing.

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  • 5Rs Jul 2, 2009

    If the process by which she was hired was corrupt, wouldn't that invalidate any contract? Why doesn't NCSU just say that?

  • WHEEL Jul 2, 2009

    To say that NCSU was a willing party to Mary Weasleys contract is a crock. Mikey let it be well known that he wanted his wife to have a do nothing job at a big salary as a going away present. Why otherwise would they have pressed for a 5 year contract.

  • tgw Jul 2, 2009

    Sounds like State owes her 30 days salary. Elimination of a program is elimination. What part of we don't need your a.. any more does she not understand? Oh, that's right-she's a lawyer,too. They get special considerations-plus being the wife of the sorriest Governor in history(current resident not withstanding)-well pay her whatever, then send her to Southport with a 1 way ticket!!

  • Road-wearier Jul 2, 2009

    As much as it pains me to say it, jurydoc and postracker are right. It's a contract signed freely and not under duress by both parties. Under law it must be honored. Remember all you law and order sorts who want to just hang her - the law applies to her as much as it applies to anybody else.

  • beachboater Jul 2, 2009

    I dislike the Easleys as much as anyone, both of them.

    I think blaming Oblinger, Nielson, and Campbell is looking in the wrong direction. Would you??? Again, would you try to go against a sitting governor with an ego the size of the moon? The governor says,"I'm the big cheese, and this is what I want."

    He probably gets it. The former governor seems to be the root of this problem all the way. Mrs. Easley's persistence in this might just cause her hubby problems with the federal grand jury.

  • Objective Scientist Jul 2, 2009

    Teachers-professors in schools & universities must have protection of tenure to prevent terminations based on whelm & personal bias. Likely not widespread, such "firings" would certainly happen. That being said, it is too difficult to terminate for cause within the school or university setting. Although we have many extremely proficient, talented, dedicated educators at all levels, who deserve far more support, pay and respect than they receive, there are some who are clearly incompetent or engage in despicable behavior. When such incompetence & behavior can be observed, objectively documented, & rises to a clearly unacceptable level, terminations should be possible. Unfortunately, terminating for cause is indeed a long, difficult process that many administrators are not willing to even begin because they know their efforts are unlikely to be successful no matter how strong the case. For a position obtained as it appears Mary Easley's was, termination should be forthwith.

  • bissette Jul 2, 2009

    Tell her to pay back the state for all those unnecessary trips she took abroad.........I bet that would shut her up.

  • postracker Jul 2, 2009

    NCSU wrote the contract and was a party to it. They should be held responsible for fulfilling their end of the contract. Mary Easley, slimy and irresponsible as it is, fulfilled HER end of the contract. The real guilty parties are Oblinger and his flunkies / cronies. Mary Easley will get something and I think it needs to come out of Oblinger's package. How is he going to be a good professor when he has such a problem with remembering and ethics?

  • southern wisdom Jul 2, 2009

    I hope Mrs. Easley realizes any monies she is awarded will be taken from the pay that would have gone to hard working janitorial staff, cafeteria workers , grounds keepers etc.

  • wonderwoman 65 Jul 2, 2009

    Please don't waste tax-payer money AGAIN. She made more on 1 year than I will make in 3 years. We have given the Easleys enough

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