The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday December 8th

Too great a benefit

UNC-system officials shouldn't have reserved a high-paying post for Molly Broad to assume after she steps down as the system's president.

The (Durham) Herald-Sun reported Friday that UNC-Chapel Hill's Board of Trustees has finalized plans to designate a professorship at the UNC-CH School of Government to UNC-system President Molly Broad.

When Broad retires, she will take on the position at 60 percent of her current annual salary of $312,504.

That's simply too much money to give up, regardless of prior agreements.

The UNC-system Board of Governors decided on the salary in May, promising Broad the same benefits recently accorded to retiring chancellors. But granting Broad a position that typically takes professors years of work to attain in a tenure track system is simply insulting. The title of professor effectively is being reduced to a fringe benefit for Broad.

The thought of the UNC-system's Office of the President providing such a large salary seems both unnecessary and counterintuitive. It doesn't make sense when considering the recent raise that was designed for Broad and other UNC-system officials and administrators.

Broad, who was recruited in 1997 from her position as executive vice chancellor and chief operating officer of the California State University system, possibly could make a similar amount of money at another institution.

And she probably will use her substantial leadership experience to great effect when teaching at the School of Government.

But 60 percent of Broad's current salary potentially could help to fund two full faculty positions at a time when the University is still fighting to retain valuable professors across the board. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the average annual salary for a full professor at UNC-CH was $106,300 in 2003-04.

Although the departure of Marye Anne Fox from the chancellor post at N.C. State University still should resonate with the BOG, this is an unnecessary and unfair way to deal with the problem of faculty recruitment and retention.

Professorship at this University is a big deal. It shouldn't be given out on a whim.

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