On July 21, the UNC System office released a memo granting chancellors the ability to authorize temporary salary reductions for non-faculty EHRA employees, a designation that includes senior officers of the University such as deans, provosts and chancellors.
That means for more than a month, Chancellor Guskiewicz has had the authority to redistribute six-figure salaries to departments and workers who need it. Why isn’t he using this authority?
Students working in housing are not sure if their jobs will continue now that housing contracts have been canceled. Campus workers have to use their own vacation and sick time with no additional compensation and lack of sufficient access to adequate personal protective equipment. International graduate students and workers have been furloughed while still being asked to pay higher tuition costs. Graduate workers make less than the living wage in Orange County and have no chance to save for emergencies. All while coaches, provosts, deans and chancellors make well over $100,000 each year.
Chancellor Guskiewicz has the authority to help financially precarious workers. Why doesn’t he?
Chancellor Guskiewicz, along with Provost Bob Blouin, recently discussed the financial cost to the University during the pandemic and hinted at job losses. Is the Chancellor worried? Is the provost worried? Is the dean of the graduate school worried? Probably not. After all, their jobs are not on the line. The first people the University will fire are low-paid campus workers, student workers and graduate workers.