UNC board weighs incentive pay for top fundraiser

Jul. 24, 2013 @ 08:02 PM

The UNC Board of Trustees will decide Thursday whether to adopt an incentive compensation plan for the next vice chancellor for development, the university’s top fundraiser.

Trustees, along with new Chancellor Carol Folt, discussed the plan Wednesday during a meeting of the board’s University Affairs Committee.

If approved, the vice chancellor could be eligible to receive incentive pay amounting to as much as 25 percent of his or her base pay for meeting certain goals set by the chancellor.

UNC is currently in the hunt for a permanent vice chancellor for development, and see the incentive as a tool to help the university attract top candidates.

“I think, as you know, development is particularly important to higher ed institutions these days, and particularly our public sector institutions, and we’re trying to equip the chancellor with all of the tools necessary and available to us to try to recruit and then hire and retain the really excellent individuals to carry out that function,” said Brenda Malone, the university’s vice chancellor for human resources.

UNC General Administration has set a salary maximum for the position at $395,874. That means the school’s top fundraiser could earn as much as $98,968 in incentive pay.

Malone said that when she looked at the university’s peers, she found that senior development officers across the country are paid well beyond the maximum set for UNC.

“I haven’t even found a salary that’s lower than $400,000, and certainly they go up significantly,” Malone said.

Officials said the goals for the vice chancellor would be reviewed annually and could change from year-to-year, depending on the university’s needs.

“You’re going to expect them to change quite a bit as we enter into the [major fundraising] campaign,” Folt said. “There’s a whole series of things that they’ll need to do in the first year or two of that that will be very different from the things that they will do going along. This is very common now in running these enterprises at universities.”

The new development officer will replace longtime fundraiser Matt Kupec, who resigned last year after he racked up nearly $17,000 in questionable travel-related and other expenses.

Julia Sprunt Grumbles, a former corporate vice president of Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta, has served as interim vice chancellor for development since September 2012.

Grumbles reported Wednesday a 5.8 percent decrease – from $280.4 million to $270.7 million -- in gifts received through June 2013 versus June 2012.

The board also will consider significant changes to the Chapel Hill Foundation, Inc.’s travel and expense policies and procedures at its meeting today.