A BYH to the dry-rainy poster (“When it rains it pours”). You conflate LOCAL weather with GLOBAL warming. Please get to...

Change chancellor hiring model


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

ECU chancellor resigns. What’s next? Here’s a win-win-win-win for taxpayers, students, parents and ECU.

I’m pretty sure I’m in the ballpark on these numbers. A head hunter company conducts a national search. Cost, plus expenses bringing in candidates, is likely $100,000 plus. An out-of-town person is hired, with perks, at well more than one-half million dollars.

I’ve lived and worked in Greenville, at ECU and the private sector, since 1985. I’ve seen chancellors come and go, and I’ve studied ECU’s history. A very few chancellors were exceptionally good (e.g., Leo Jenkins), some not so, and many just OK.

Here’s an outside the box win-win-win-win. Avoid expensive head hunters — do a local search with community, alumni, students and faculty stakeholders on the search committee. Give the over $100,000 head hunter savings to student scholarships. Hire a qualified local person, but don’t pay the half million or more (including perks) currently paid.

Pay no more than two and a half times the average faculty salary, excluding the atypical Medical School salaries. Immediate savings equal hundreds of thousands of dollars, and over several years, millions of dollars ongoing. Give the savings to student scholarships. Taxpayers, students, parents, and ECU all win.

ECU gets national attention for thinking outside the box, helping students, and saving taxes. I’m clear a qualified local person could be found. Odds are they’d provide excellent leadership as good, and maybe better, than hiring at an insane salary someone who at this point doesn’t even know ECU’s mascot is the Pirate.

This letter isn’t judgement on any particular chancellor. It’s about a better hiring model. With this model, are there issues to be addressed? Yes. I’m very aware of some of them. Can they be addressed? Yes. Let’s have a community conversation about this and go for a win-win-win-win.

Calvin Mercer



Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


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