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Officials cut former NCSU chancellor's pay

Posted August 14, 2009

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— The University of North Carolina Board of Governors voted Friday to immediately cut the pay of former North Carolina State University Chancellor James Oblinger.

Oblinger resigned in June over questions over his role in N.C. State's hiring of Mary Easley, the wife of former Gov. Mike Easley, to a lucrative job in 2005.

Mary Easley's hiring by the university is part of a federal grand jury investigation into the dealings the former governor had with friends and contributors while in office. Two other high-ranking N.C. State officials also resigned amid the controversy.

Oblinger agreed to return to a teaching position in the Department of Food Science after a six-month leave and was to continue drawing his $420,000 annual salary during that time.

The Board of Governors voted 17-10 to reduce his salary to that of a regular faculty member for the remaining four months of his leave. N.C. State officials will determine that salary, the board said.

The vote came the day after the board discussed limiting payouts to former administrators who retire or move to faculty positions.

UNC President Erskine Bowles wants more controls placed on so-called "retreat rights," saying they are too generous and need more accountability and definition. He recommended that paid leaves be limited to six months instead of the year now allowed and that all payout packages be approved by a campus Board of Trustees and possibly the Board of Governors as well.

Chancellors defended the current leave policy, saying retreat rights are an important part of the compensation package they can offer to attract top talent to administrative positions.

The issue gained attention this summer because of a pay deal Oblinger negotiated for former N.C. State Provost Larry Nielsen, who resigned in May over Mary Easley's hiring. The N.C. State Board of Trustees voided the payout in June, saying it never approved the deal.


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  • bonnnie Aug 17, 2009

    He can probably afford a pay cut with a salary like that! GO PACK!

  • nufsaid Aug 14, 2009

    If she wants him to be treated like the classroom teachers it would be a one time .5% cut. Not to be confused with an actual .5% pay cut. Of course the elite didn't have to have even the token cut unless they agreed to it.

  • nufsaid Aug 14, 2009

    "It is totally unacceptable to be paying people to go through an adjustment period that is nothing but an extreme luxury. methinkthis"

    How about continuing to pay those that had to resign due to malfeasance?

  • avidreader Aug 14, 2009

    At the very least Ole Bev should cut his salary 5%!!!

  • methinkthis Aug 14, 2009

    It is totally unacceptable to be paying people to go through an adjustment period that is nothing but an extreme luxury. If the men and women leaving high level leadership positions are incapable of moving into another position with the same adjustment period given a new hire, then it is obvious they should have never been in that leadership position in the first place. It is time that we stop paying taxes and tuition to support freeloading ex-leaders and lightly loaded tenured professors. If a professor can not teach 12 hours then they should find something else to do. In the real world we have to do more than the equivalent of 12 hours of teaching to stay employed. Every person that is on one of this freeloading sabbaticals should be immediately given the option to get back to work and leave. I am confident that there enough qualified people available who can replace them and do an excellent job more concerned with teaching than luxurious entitlements.

  • nanasix Aug 14, 2009

    It makes no sense that anyone on a college or university payroll making that kind of money. No wonder tuitions keep going up and fewer students can afford to attend college. Hopefully, everyone will take a closer look at the salaries paid to every schools employees, or shall we just resort to calling them crooked politicians. I hope the Easley's will both pay the price for the criminal acts they've committed. Just being allowed to pay back the money they cheated our state out of isn't enough, they need to serve time for their crimes, as do others. Think about all the school teachers that could still have jobs, if it weren't being eaten up by the crooks at universities/colleges, who were way overpaid for what they gave. Obama was right, we need CHANGE, but not the Change he's trying to shove down our throats.

  • alshomes Aug 14, 2009

    There are so many well qualified people who can do this same job for so much less money. This man was not worth this much money in this job. There we go again it is who you know.

  • nufsaid Aug 14, 2009

    The cost of education keeps increasing over the cost of inflation because education is a sacred cow. From k-12 and higher education. Don't look at how money is spent. If you do they will cut classroom teachers and ignore the fat. Everyone supports the classroom teachers. How about the ever increasing high dollar administration. Try to cut wasteful spending and they will shout the familiar refrain "it is all about the children".

  • Timtooltime Aug 14, 2009

    If i resign for my job @ a local goverment can i be paid ? Not! This is why North carolina Goverment is so corrupt ! Run by and protected by the inner crooks !

  • Objective Scientist Aug 14, 2009

    Glad to hear that the BOG reduced Oblinger's "sweet deal". I disagree with Bowles that the "retreat rights" provision has become "slightly more generous" than they should be. They have become FAR more generous than they should be. That being said & to respond to some of the comments on this & related articles, keep in mind that the typical University professor who is on the tenure track or is tenured has an education that equals or sometimes exceeds that of the typical MD or attorney. There are many very good, hard-working professors who contribute to our son's - daughter's educations in very significant ways, while concomitantly striving to meet the research demands imposed upon them by our system of higher education, and many other more mundane responsibilities. Almost none of those professors are paid the high salaries reported for the administrators, but they truly deserve the salaries they get through their dedication, commitment, and their investment in their own educations.