Noon Protest at App State Planned To Oppose Chancellor Raises in UNC-System

Published Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at 10:59 am

By Jesse Wood

Several Appalachian State University faculty and student organizations are planning to hold a protest of approved raises for chancellors in the University of North Carolina system on Tuesday at noon on Sanford Mall on the college campus, according to Dr. Michael C. Behrent, Associate Professor of History at App State and President of ASU’s Chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

Sanford Mall action 11-3-15The UNC Board of Governors approved of the raises in a “closed-door vote” on Friday and the university system released the figures on Monday after reporters from a number of media outlets objected to university officials not releasing the information, according to the Charlotte Observer.

ASU Chancellor Sheri Everts received the fourth-largest percentage raise among the 17 schools in the system. Everts raise was 17.54 percent, bringing her new salary to $335,000. N.C. State University Chancellor Randy Woodson has the highest salary: $590,000 after a 13.46-percent raise. See all of the raises and salary info here. 

Behrent called the raises “truly outrageous” and that they “confirm our worst fears about the direction of higher education.

“The decision shows utter contempt for faculty and staff who have not received significant raises in eight years, as well as for students who are paying higher tuition and taking out expensive loans even as the percentage of resources universities devote to instruction declines. The decision was also brazenly racist, as only the chancellors of the weakest and poorest HBCUs in the system were deemed unworthy of the Board’s largesse,” Behrent wrote in an email blast announcing the protest on Tuesday. “This is why I invite you to protest the Board’s decision and to ask that Chancellor Sheri Everts, following the example of university presidents in Kentucky and Kansas, publicly refuse the $50,000 pay raise the Board awarded her.”

Faculty and student organizations protested athletic priorities within the university a couple weeks ago. See photos and details of that protest in prior article. 

See petition:

Petition: Chancellor Everts: Give Up Your Raise!

We, the undersigned, believe that the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors seriously mismanaged taxpayer resources when, on Friday, Oct. 30, it approved pay raises ranging from 8% to 19% for twelve system chancellors.

Chancellors are already among the highest paid employees at their universities. According to Friday’s decision, N.C. State’s chancellor will receive a 13% raise (or $70,000), giving him a base salary of $590,000. UNC Chapel Hill’s chancellor was given a hike of 9.6% (or $50,000), bringing her base pay to $570,000.

At Appalachian State, Chancellor Sheri Everts received a 17.54% pay raise, or nearly $50,000. Her base salary is now $335,000.

We, the undersigned, object to the Board of Governors’ decision to give large pay raises to highly-paid administrators at a time when tuition at North Carolina’s public universities has risen by 35.8% since 2008 and the state legislature has slashed public funding. Meanwhile, faculty salaries have, in recent years, remained virtually stagnant, and the university continues to hire poorly paid non-tenure track faculty to do much of its teaching.

We object to the fact that at a time when almost everybody in the UNC system is expected to pay more or earn less, the Board of Governors determined that only the wealthiest administrators deserve a raise.

We object to the fact that while the state constitution declares that the “University of North Carolina [shall], as far as practicable, be extended to the people of the State free of expense,” the Board of Governors has found money to boost chancellors’ salaries, but not to make tuition affordable for all North Carolinians.

We object to the fact that the Board of Governors’ decision was suspiciously made amidst the statewide uproar surrounding the appointment to the presidency of the UNC system of a gay-bashing ideologue with little experience in higher education. A reasonable person might wonder if these pay increases were not a brazen effort to purchase the chancellors’ loyalty.

We object to the fact that public universities, founded to promote social equality, are becoming engines of inequality. Chancellor’s new salary is nearly ten times that of the $35,000 earned by full-time non-tenure track faculty. What does this say about the value we place on education?

The chancellors’ pay increase does not have to happen. In 2014, Raymond Burse, the president of Kentucky State University, renounced $90,000 of his nearly $350,000 salary so that his university’s lowest paid workers could earn a living wage.

We ask Sheri Everts to follow Burse’s example. We know she is committed to public education. We know she care about Appalachian. We hope that she proves it by renouncing her $50,000 pay raise and giving it to those in the Appalachian Family who need it most.


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