“In a time when I’m asking other units to cut and cut at some fairly deep levels, I didn’t think adding another senior administrative position, good as it is, was really a good idea,” said Carney, who could not reveal the names of the two finalists. “In the end, I have a really good person doing the job.”
The decision came in the wake of an additional 2.5 percent budget cut Gov. Bev Perdue imposed on all state agencies, which some interpreted as an attempt to dull the steep cuts projected for the 2011-12 fiscal year.
Although Perdue did not specify the UNC system as part of those cuts, system president Thomas Ross and his predecessor, Erskine Bowles, endorsed them. Citing the timing of the cuts, Chancellor Holden Thorp imposed a permanent campuswide cut of 5 percent effective July 1.
“If you give back two-and-a-half percent in the middle of the year, that’s the same thing as having 5 percent,” he said on Tuesday.
A hiring freeze joined the 2.5 percent state budget cut, though Carney said it did not affect his decision making, as the position was deemed critical and the recruitment and search for the position began before Jan. 3 — an exclusion to the freeze.
With the task of leading the University’s global initiatives added to Strauss’s workload, Carney and associate provosts Dwayne Pinkney and Carol Tresolini have absorbed some of his previous responsibilities.
“I am where the rubber meets the road,” said Strauss, who serves on a number of committees and sees patients each Tuesday at the UNC Craniofacial Center.
“I was hoping to have a little less on my plate,” he added. “Now I have a feast.”
Strauss, who earned a salary of $238,842 in 2009-10, said he will receive a stipend for the added role.
Barring Strauss’s departure, Carney said the search for an associate provost for UNC Global will not begin anew for at least another year as the University looks to escape treacherous financial waters. Officials have long looked to the 2011-12 fiscal year as particularly dire with federal stimulus funding and a state sales tax set to expire at the June 30 end of the current fiscal year.
A first generation immigrant, Strauss said he feels an intrinsic connection with the University’s efforts to reach out to the world. As chief international officer, Strauss will seek to establish more international partnerships and attract more professors with international backgrounds. Of the professors to join the College of Arts and Sciences in the past year, Strauss said 21 — or 64 percent — came with international or area studies expertise. He will also look to further UNC’s international reputation and continue its steady climb in the London Times Higher Education Rankings.
Jonathan Hartlyn, senior associate dean for social sciences and international programs, said he was hopeful that the University’s fiscal situation would not impede its hiring for the position.
“I was hopeful that maybe this might not be the case,” said Hartlyn, who led the search committee for the post. “But didn’t come as a total surprise.”
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