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UNC board OKs limits on administrator payouts

Posted January 8, 2010

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— The University of North Carolina Board of Governors on Friday approved a policy limiting payouts to former administrators who retire or move to faculty positions.

UNC President Erskine Bowles has pushed for more controls on so-called "retreat rights," saying they have been too generous and needed more accountability and definition.

The issue gained statewide attention last summer because of a pay deal promised to former North Carolina State University Provost Larry Nielsen, who resigned in May amid questions about his role in the hiring and promotion of Mary Easley, the wife of former Gov. Mike Easley.

Nielsen moved to a faculty position at N.C. State, and former Chancellor James Oblinger, who also resigned over the Mary Easley controversy, approved a pay package for Nielsen that would have allowed him to continue collecting his full provost's salary for six months and then reduced his salary to that of a professor over a three-year period.

The deal, which would have violated a university policy limiting payouts to one year, was voided in June by the N.C. State Board of Trustees, who said they never approved it.

The policy approved by the Board of Governors allows administrators to take a six-month leave before resuming teaching and research as a faculty member. During the leave, they would receive a faculty salary, and the UNC president has the discretion to extend the leave by up to six months.

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  • oldschooltarheel Jan 8, 2010

    Can you say "Racket at tax payers expense?" One more ugly little good old boy payola exposed. NC government is absolutely full of these "rackets" for the "in-players". At every level - the Easleys, University muckiteemucks, ABC board, Durham police officer overtime - all examples but not the only instances. Clue phone ringing - at every level, NC government has too much OPM (other people's money) to toss around in generationally nepotic systems. State and many local governments are in dire need of severe pruning.

  • prn13norm Jan 8, 2010

    Hey Erskin are you going to limit buyouts for university coaches contracts too?

  • james27613 Jan 8, 2010

    At that level no transition time to return to the classroom is warranted.

    Give me a break, if your are a CEO and you jump to another company you hit the ground with your feet running.

    Why is education different ?

    Should Easley have gotten time for a retreat before she
    started the 'new' full time position an NCSU ?

  • whatelseisnew Jan 8, 2010

    I guess this is why they only want to raise tuition a little. Realistically they should be cutting salaries and perks across the board and cutting costs for the students, not increasing them.