SPECIAL REPORT: $12 million in payroll increases at UNCW - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

SPECIAL REPORT: $12 million in payroll increases at UNCW

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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - For the second time in two years, UNC Wilmington is refusing to go on camera to discuss faculty salaries. Salaries continue to rise despite the fact that UNCW has raised tuition, eliminated academic programs, and discussed cutting sports programs to cover budget shortfalls.

We reported just over a year ago that 151 faculty members at UNCW were making six figure salaries.

In the year since that report aired, 21 more people have been added to the list of university employees making $100,000 or more.

A lot of the added payroll spending has gone to hire new employees for the growing university, and many faculty and staff members have only seen modest raises. But others on that list have been awarded big raises including:

  • Daniel Ivancevich, a business professor, got a $50,000 raise recently when promoted to department chair. His base salary is now $196,000.

  • Business Professor Rebecca Porterfield got a $45,000 raise with her promotion to associate dean, and now makes $172,000 a year.

  • Assistant Vice Chancellor Eddie Stuart was just named the new Vice Chancellor of University Advancement. The university is almost doubling his salary - from $88,000 to $155,000 a year.

Parents of Seahawk Swim Team members who almost saw that sports program and four others eliminated to save $800,000 contacted us with their concerns.

"What I was looking for was any and all financial data that we could get our hands on," said parent Greg Schwartz. "If you are looking at just numbers, if that's all they are crunching, it's like this is where your expenses are out of control."

Aside from raises, there are also a number of new hires. Some of the highest paid include:

  • Denise Battles, the University's new provost, earns a base salary of $225,000.
  • The University created a new position for Jeffrey Brudney. The Distinguished Professor of Innovation is an expert in volunteer management, and got a starting salary of $145,000.
  • The Men's Basketball Team - which already pays Head Coach Buzz Peterson $430,000 a year, added two new assistant coaches to the payroll. Edward Biedenbach gets paid $130,000 per year. Coach James Fancher makes $85,000 a year.

We asked State Representative Frank Iler, who sits on the House Education Committee for his reaction.

"It just makes us wonder if the budget cuts are really having the devastating impact that they're saying that they are, apparently not," he said. "Especially in some areas like faculty salaries at this university."

Iler was also concerned that University administrators declined to discuss their salaries in person. Chancellor Gary Miller did not respond to our request for an interview. The University Relations office did respond, but declined our request to go on camera. This despite their staff of 16 people, lead by Janine Iamunno who is paid $110,000 a year to deal with the media.

Iamunno did email responses to our questions, explaining that their salaries are in line with other campuses, and that raises are necessary to retain good faculty. She also said UNCW has added about 1,000 students in the last few years, which increased their staffing needs.

There has been some turnover, and some faculty members have seen their salaries cut. But overall spending on payroll at UNCW increased by more than $12 million last year alone, and now totals $103 million for the University's 1,780 employees.

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