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The Daily Tar Heel

Retreat from the rights

Exorbitant compensation packages need re-evaluation

UNC should toughen its regulations and heighten accountability for administrators granted a full year’s salary when retreating back to a faculty position.

Other universities provide less compensation for administrators’ leave, and we should either follow suit or provide a more thorough process.

Current practice — called retreat rights ­— allows administrators up to a year to retool and prepare for their re-entry into the University as a professor.

While departments are struggling to compensate their faculty members and out-of-state students could see a 6.5 percent tuition increase, UNC should at least institute some oversight and regulation of the hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent.

Former Chancellor James Moeser was paid more than $390,000 for one year of research leave to prepare for becoming a Professor of Music.

At the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, a chancellor receives one semester of compensation per five years of service. The University of Virginia has no set policy — leave is negotiated for each chancellor.

There is no doubt that we must incorporate this practice into our compensation packages to remain competitive.

But as UNC-system President Erskine Bowles said, our policies are “more generous,” both in “length of leaves” and “levels of pay.”

If we are going to outbid our peers in retreat rights, the process should at least be more thorough.

Prior to receiving compensation, retreating administrators should submit a detailed proposal outlining their plans for the year and how they will prepare for their professorship.

Any person receiving nearly $400,000 to take a year of leave should be held to a modicum of accountability.

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