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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - When UNCW announced a nine percent tuition hike for students next semester, they said it was a necessity. But, despite recent budget cuts, WECT has learned the university is still paying more than 150 employees more than $100,000 a year.
Half of those employees are professors. Most of the rest are well paid administrators.
Men's head basketball coach Buzz Peterson is the highest paid person on staff, making $410,000 a year. Chancellor Gary Miller comes in second with an annual salary of $275,000.
[See a breakdown of the salaries (XLS)]
Those salaries are not out of line compared to what people in those positions are paid at similar universities. But according to a report presented to faculty members last year, management and administrative support staff at UNCW is much bigger than comparable universities, like UNC Charlotte and App State, compared to total enrollment.
[See graphs of the figures (PPT)]
"We always say it's about the students, and I think that it should be about the students and the classroom is protected," said State Representative Frank Iler, who sits on the House Education committee. "We try to do in our budget for K-12. The classroom should be protected while administration sacrifices along with everybody else."
Iler trusts the university is using good business practices, but he thinks a professional audit may be in order to verify that.
The university declined our request for an interview on this topic, but did provide a list of names and positions of all personnel making more than $100,000 a year. There were 16 different chancellors, vice chancellors, associate vice chancellors, assistant vice chancellors, and the like. There are also 16 department directors, 20 department chairs, a dozen deans and assistant deans, and five provosts and assistant provosts.
"Employee salaries are determined by various factors based on the market for the specific profession and guidelines provided to us through the UNC system general administration, the UNC Board of Governors, Office of State Personnel and the North Carolina General Assembly," explained Chancellor Miller.
In addition to the substantial administrative staff, many people who are listed on the payroll as professors have been given course releases so they can do administrative work in lieu of teaching a full course load.
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