The next president of the UNC system could earn as much as $550,000 annually.
A committee searching for a successor to UNC system President Erskine Bowles settled Tuesday on a salary range of $495,000 to $550,000. In doing so, members acknowledged the delicate task of weighing competitiveness with public perception.
"We've got to be competitive in the marketplace," said John Davis, a member of the UNC system's Board of Governors. "But we can't be ridiculous and over the top."
With this range, the next system president will earn more than Bowles, whose current annual pay is $478,291.
The president's salary will be paid entirely with taxpaper dollars. Even at the high end of the salary range, the next president will likely earn at least slightly less, in total compensation, than peers at universities of similar size and prestige level, said R. William Funk, a consultant aiding university system leaders in the search.
"Folks come into higher education not to become wealthy," Funk told search committee members Tuesday. "But they want to be compensated similar to others doing comparable work."
Read Wednesday's News & Observer for more on this story.