Some chancellors get big pay raises, others do not
Eleven chancellors in the UNC system were awarded raises or bonuses Friday by the UNC Board of Governors. The largest increase went to the leader of N.C. State University.
Raises were 4.99 percent for nine chancellors, ranging from $14,889 for Chancellor Robin Cummings at UNC Pembroke to $31,577 for Chancellor Randy Woodson at NCSU. Woodson was the only chancellor to be given a contract extension.
In a separate vote, the board agreed to a nearly five-year extension through June 2023. Woodson’s annual salary will be $664,387.
Two chancellors received increases, but not at the 4.99 percent level. Chancellor Todd Roberts of the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics in Durham was given a 2.5 percent raise, or $5,982, plus a bonus in the same amount. His new base salary will be $245,268. N.C. Central University Chancellor Johnson Akinleye received a 2.5 percent bonus, or $8,125, and no raise. His base salary is $325,000.
Chancellor Carol Folt of UNC-Chapel Hill was not given a raise.
The trustees on the UNC campus asked UNC system President Margaret Spellings to move Folt’s quadrennial review, which was scheduled for the end of the year, to March, said UNC system spokesman Josh Ellis. In light of that, any annual raise would come then.
Folt’s current salary is $632,810.
The Board of Governors met for more than two and a half hours behind closed doors Friday. The agenda said the board was considering a report from Spellings, personnel issues and a legal update.
The vote on the slate of raises was split, with 17 members of the 28-member board voting yes. One member, Dr. Bob Rucho, a former Republican state lawmaker, said he could not vote for the slate of raises because of one individual, who he said “has demonstrated some unprofessional behavior.” Rucho did not identify the person or the behavior to which he referred.
Some chancellors who did not receive raises were hired within the past two years, making them ineligible, according to the board’s wishes. But that wasn’t the case for all.
Elwood Robinson, the chancellor at Winston-Salem State University, did not receive a raise and he has served since 2015.
Cecil Staton, the chancellor at East Carolina University, has served nearly two and a half years and did not get a raise. His base salary is $450,000. There has been speculation recently that Staton would soon leave his position, though that rumor was denied by campus leaders.
NC SUPREME COURT TO HEAR SEX OFFENDERS CASE
North Carolina’s Supreme Court is re-evaluating whether forcing sex offenders to be perpetually tracked by GPS-linked devices, sometimes for the rest of their lives, is justified or a Constitution-violating unreasonable search.
The state’s highest court next month takes up the case of repeat sex offender Torrey Grady. It comes three years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his case that mandating GPS ankle monitors for ex-cons is a serious privacy concern.
“There’s different possible outcomes of the case. One is that it’s never reasonable at all. Another is that it’s reasonable, maybe while the person is still on post-release supervision” for five years after prison release, said James Markham, a professor who focuses on criminal law at the University of North Carolina’s School of Government. “Another possibility is that it’s reasonable for the rest of their life.”
Grady took his case to the nation’s top court arguing that having his movements forever monitored violated his constitutional protection against unreasonable searches. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that attaching a device to a person’s body in order to track their movements qualifies as a “search” and a question of constitutional rights. But the decision left it up to states to decide whether imposed monitoring is reasonable, and for how long.
States are still at work answering that question, with Michigan and Wisconsin among the handful that have considered whether long-term electronic monitoring’s public benefit outweighs the privacy rights of the sex offender. Both decided it constituted a reasonable search. Delaware’s Supreme Court last year rejected a challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union to a law requiring GPS monitoring of certain sex offenders complained the ankle bracelets were embarrassing, sometimes painful and an invasion of privacy.
North Carolina’s Supreme Court will consider Grady’s case on Dec. 3 as well as a second challenging the GPS tracking ordered for Darren Gentle. The combination would give the justices “an opportunity to compare and contrast those different situations,” Markham said.
Gentile was convicted in Randolph County in 2016 of violently raping a 25-year-old woman who was seven months pregnant and with whom he’d been taking drugs, according to state attorneys. He is serving a 41-year prison sentence, but is arguing he shouldn’t have been ordered into post-release GPS monitoring because the trial judge didn’t review whether that was reasonable.
Grady, 40, returned to prison in April after failing to register as a sex offender, according to state prison records. He was convicted of a sexual offense in 1997 and was convicted in 2007 of taking indecent liberties with a minor who was 15, according to the state sex offender registry.
His attorneys argue that after paying his debt to society in prison, Grady and other sex offenders do not give up their privacy rights even though laws restrict where they can live and travel, for example barring visits to school grounds.
A divided panel of North Carolina’s second-highest court in May reversed a trial judge that ordered Grady enrolled for life in satellite-based monitoring, saying they saw no studies showing tracking prevented future crimes.
“The State failed to present any evidence of its need to monitor defendant, or the procedures actually used to conduct such monitoring in unsupervised cases. Therefore, the State failed to prove” that lifetime monitoring, the state Court of Appeals ruled, “is a reasonable search under the Fourth Amendment.”