CFCC trustees give Morton another raise, bumping pay to $323,000

4 trustees missed the vote, only 1 trustee voted against raise
CFCC trustees give Morton another raise, bumping pay to $323,000
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 6:05 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - It’s a $30,000 raise. Again. Cape Fear Community College President Jim Morton just got his second 10% raise in less than two years.

Morton has been a polarizing figure since taking the top job at CFCC in 2018. Despite less than favorable feedback from a lot of the college teaching staff, the trustees seem to think Morton is doing a great job based on his recent pay raises.

At the Board of Trustees meeting late last week, they increased Morton’s pay to $322,584. They also voted to extend his contract to 2027. We are still waiting for salary information from the state community college office to show how that compares to other community college presidents, but it’s safe to say it’s on the high side. It’s getting close to the $385,000 salary the new UNCW president is making, despite the fact that UNCW is a four year university.

Four trustees missed the vote on Morton’s raise, but they still had enough trustees present to approve it. Trustee Zander Guy, who voted in favor of Morton’s raise, noted CFCC has grown from the 7th largest to the 5th largest in the state under Morton’s leadership. Guy said he hasn’t approved of every decision Morton has made, but overall, he thinks he’s done a good job.

“As a businessman, I think he’s doing a good job running it as a business,” Guy said.

Newly appointed trustee Ray Funderburk was the only trustee to vote against Morton’s raise.

“I didn’t get any - or I didn’t get sufficient information. I expected a packet of information that might have shown comparative salary, salary history. Evidently, there was a survey, I didn’t get any information on the survey. So I can’t in good faith vote on spending money that I don’t have good information on,” Funderburk told WECT.

WHQR’s Rachel Keith has reported in depth on recent raises at the college, as well as some unusual promotions and demotions, and activity surrounding recent trustee appointments. She says she was surprised that Morton did not present the trustees with a year-end fiscal report so they could see how the college spent $110 million in public money.

“The state budget, which is about 50% of the college’s budget, was not shown to the trustees. So they couldn’t see any of the expenditures for the year. That was not presented. And that was the same night that he received a 10% raise,” Keith said of the lack of data trustees considered before approving the raise.

A CFCC spokesperson said it’s not unusual for the budget summary not to be presented at this time of year because adjustments are still being made. The state covered $166,000 that went towards Morton’s salary last year. Local tax dollars are used to make up the difference.

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