Judging by the number of folks charged with driving under influence I am guessing the penalty is rather light. Of...

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.


April 16, 2019

As a disabled veteran of the Vietnam War, I am deeply concerned that there are people in high places who are in the process of choreographing yet another useless war for the fine young men and women of our military to go get maimed and die in for no legitimate purpose.

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April 15, 2019

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April 08, 2019

Calvin Mercer’s ideas published in his newsletter about a new process for finding and recruiting a chancellor for ECU resonated w/me.

I retired as associate professor from ECU after 27 years as tenured/tenure track faculty who served on more than a dozen search committees,…

April 08, 2019

There is an ongoing battle in the North Carolina legislature over whether to criminalize female genital mutilation. Why a battle? The mutilation of girls’ genitals defies all standards of humanity and cries out as a hideous violation of human rights according to the United Nations and World…

April 07, 2019

I was delighted to see the comments by ECU Provost Ron Mitchelson in his “First Monday” publication recently distributed to university officials and other stakeholders. His letter praised the partnership between the City of Greenville and ECU and its importance in growing the university…

April 06, 2019

Last week, Beaufort County District Attorney Seth Edwards refused to bring charges against a Washington, N.C., police officer who killed Cedrick Pritchard by shooting him twice in the back while he was running away on Oct. 29, 2018.

Every time a family and their community grieve the loss of a loved…

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