What’s wrong with this picture?
Many Pirate Nation students work long hours making ends meet, graduate with huge debt, and scramble for work, sometimes taking low-paying jobs. Yet, we give a headhunting firm tens of thousands of dollars to search the world over for a chancellor and pay salary and perks to that chancellor worth over a half million annually. Then, we end up with a chancellor who may never have previously heard of the Pirates. Or, worse, because the fix was in from the get-go, we end up with a political appointee.
It’s time to break open a new model that seats a quality chancellor and, in the process, save tons of money and even gain ECU national acclaim for outside-the-box thinking. Here’s the model. No expensive headhunter firm. Put that money to student scholarships. Hire someone—definitely not a political appointee—who is qualified to lead a university and already a Pirate, e.g., alumni, supporter, seasoned faculty or administrator leader. Give them a pay package worth no more than two and a half times average faculty salary, excluding high-end medical school salaries (an outrageous chancellor salary could even attract candidates for the wrong reason). Savings will be hundreds of thousands a year and millions ongoing. Put that money to student need.
Students still get fleeced on outrageously priced textbooks, but the creative push back on that is helping some. Students and student leaders should insist on this new model for finding our leader.