UNC board’s vote on chancellors’ pay raises was close

The UNC Board of Governors meets Oct 23, 2015.
The UNC Board of Governors meets Oct 23, 2015.

The UNC Board of Governors’ closed-session approval of chancellors’ pay raises on Oct. 30 was tight – with members voting 16-13 in favor of the increases.

Despite the split among members, there was no roll call of the vote, according to a brief summary of the closed-door meeting released by the UNC system on Monday. That means there is no record of how individual members voted on controversial pay increases for a dozen chancellors, ranging from 8 percent to 19 percent.

The one-paragraph statement was released by the university system on behalf of Lou Bissette, vice chairman of the board. It offers scant details of the nearly three-hour meeting.

The summary stated that the vote on a recommendation from the board’s personnel and tenure committee followed “a comprehensive review of senior leadership compensation” in late 2014 and early 2015. In April, the board approved higher salary ranges, “consistent with the Board’s philosophy of recruiting and retaining excellent leaders and identifying the relevant market ranges for these leaders,” the statement said.

The closed session has raised the ire of legislative leaders, who have summoned UNC to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations on Wednesday. There, UNC representatives are expected to take questions about the board’s compliance with state law on open meetings.

On Friday, the board voted to release information from the private session to House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger, who demanded any and all records from the Oct. 30 meeting. The records apparently included a tape of the session.

Media representatives also have objected to the closed-door vote and failure of the board to immediately release the salary figures. Information on the taxpayer-funded salaries was provided to the public three days after the vote.

Jane Stancill: 919-829-4559, @janestancill