UNCCH “BigWigs” Get Mega-Buck Boosts

February05/ 2016

The Editorial Board of the regional red-ink hemorrhaging McClatchy newspaper – The N&O – takes isBigwigssue with recently announced raises for “bigwigs” at The UNC @ Chapel Hill. …. This is an intriguing subject for me to opine upon because….

The only “bigwig” I give a plugged nickel for at UNC-CH is “BubbaThe RealAD” Cunningham.  The only employee still employed at The N&O I give a plugged nickel for is “That Damn” Dan Kane. 

I do not hide my friendship with Bubba…. nor with “ThatDamn” Dan.   Because (1) I genuinely like’em both, and (2) I’m pretty sure that combination puts me on a VERY short list.  I like being on “short lists”.

Take the rest of both motley crews…. toss’em in a shoebox with a pound of dog poop…. douse it with lighter fluid…. set it on WRAL’s Jim Goodmon’s front porch…. and put a match to it.  I’m speaking figuratively, of course…. sort of.

Dan is not mentioned in this article.  Bubba is.  Bubba has been “upped” to $642,268/per.   A 10% “up” which is a considerably larger “up” than most state employees have gotten in recent years.  I think that is supposed to be the OMG item in the article.

Q: BL, who is the N&O Editorial Board?

A: Not sure, but I think it’s Ned (DWI) Barnett, Jim “Jenks” Jenkins, Jenks’ parakeet “Frank Porter”, and Barry Saunders’ idol – Fred Sanford.

My precursory checking says Bubba’s salary is consistent with other Power 5 ADs, about mid-range.  More than a few make “a mill +”.

Considering how many other tax-dollars are thrown down bottomless rat holes over at UNCCH, I’d rather Bubba get it than 99% of other silly crap they do over there.Joel Curran

Everyone’s favorite Vice Chancellor for Spin, Obfuscation & Hiring Crony Consultants – Joel Curran – got upped to $340,200.   No mention of whether Joel’s consultant cronies got “upped” or not.

Nor is there mention of whether The N&O’s BFF “Gasbag” Gene Nichol got “upped” for teaching his one class/semester at UNC Law.   That was about $230,000 last time I checked.  Well above the “poverty level”.   When speaking of “bigwigs”, there are darn few “wigs” at UNCCH bigger than Gene’s… especially when he sets it on fire in one of his screeds.

Speaking of “Genes” …. No mention was made of salaries for Defensive Coordinators, but lets safely assume Gene Chizik is above Bubba by a few scheckles.  Larry and Roy are waaaaaaay above Bubba.

The article notes that Bubba makes more than “the base pay” of Chancellor Carol “Chihuahua” Folt at $570,000.  It fails to note that Bubba is (1) taller than Chihuahua by at least 10”, plus  (2) his salary does not include a substantial “lapel ribbon” subsidy.  Carol’s does.

Any reputable media enterprise, assuming there is such any more, would offer comparisons of UNC Bigwigs’ salaries to NCSU Bigwigs’ salaries, but including that word “reputable” excuses Gang McClatchy.   Everything is “relative” in the high dollar world of UNC System Salaries.

FWIW, Duke’s bigwig salaries are A LOT higher but they are “private”…. using the inheritance from former slave-owner Buck Duke as their money source.

If I’m not mistaken both Chancy Randy and Frau Yow makes as much if not more than Chihuahua and Bubba.  Randy certainly should since he is a for-real Chancellor and not simply UNC’s little “diversity-chancellor-ette”.   I’m not sure how Bubba and Frau are evaluated so I can’t delve into that.

There is no mention of how much McClatchy “big wigs” Orage Quarles and John Drescher make for piloting The Old Reliable into financial icebergs, which ain’t peanuts… BUT their salaries are not paid by tax-payers and UNC bigwigs’ are.  I appreciate the difference.

NOTE:  I do NOT provide a link to the N&O article because (1) I don’t want to give them “clicks”, and (2) refer back to (1).  Unless Dan got a nickle for each click, which I don’t believe he does.



At UNC-CH, big raises for bigwigs

BY THE (N&O) EDITORIAL BOARD:  The oft-heard claim that universities tend to be cocoons where there is too little “real world” experience or connection is only underlined by the recent awarding of huge raises to administrators at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Trustees defend the raises as deserved and necessary to prevent top talent from being lured away.

It’s not as if there are that many jobs going wanting at $300,000-plus salaries. And where are trustees getting wind of officials being breathlessly recruited from within the administrative staff?

It’s also true that other businesses lose people to competitors all the time and don’t view it as the sky falling. And people leave jobs for many reasons other than money.Bigwigs

Most eye-catching, of course, is the 10 percent raise for Bubba Cunningham, director of athletics, whose salary will go to $642,268 a year. That’s more than the base pay of Chancellor Carol Folt ($570,000). Vice Chancellor Joel Curran, the staff public relations person who was brought in to help manage the hugely embarrassing athletics-academic scandal, is going to $340,200.

There are likely to be consequences from this kind of action. Legislators gave state employees no pay raise and a one-time bonus of $750. They’re going to hear from those employees, and UNC officials may hear from lawmakers – and probably should.

The university is not an island. This kind of action from trustees demonstrates at best a sign that the board is entirely out of touch with the citizens the university is supposed to serve. No one expects top administrators to be overworked and underpaid. They aren’t.


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The timing of this was curious but never try to separate Logic and Political Agenda since the two are sometime Same Sex Bed Fellows (who used airplane glue for what they thought was Petroleum Jelly) or as far apart a Hillary and Bernie pretend to be (now would not a picture of the two of them in the sack, half clad be enough to cure the Viagra 4 hour problem?). Anyway, Ms. June Atkinson (whom Bev tried to APPOINT a person to fill her Elected position) is out greasing the NCAE skids and pandering for a 10% Teacher’s Salary increase….which,… Read more »


While the BOG approves salaries, both Frau Yow and Bubba are paid from athletic department funds which have no tax or taxpayer money.


Maybe Carol should try to push Nido Qubein out as president of High Point University. $2.9M/year will buy a lot of ribbons but not as many as the $4.6M made by the president of Columbia U.


Now they are gonna hire a “Chief Integrity and Policy Officer”. I’m thinking John Edwards would be a perfect fit for that job.

Dr Vinnyboombatz
Dr Vinnyboombatz

Bubba needs more money because he has to do more than your average Athletics Director.
In addition to hiring coaches, ordering and buying athletic equipment, scheduling non conference opponents etc, he has to KEEP UP THE PR SPIN and COVER UP that other AD’s do not have to do.


I think you are probably right that Yow makes more than Bubba. I think a large part of that is that Bubba came in the middle of a full-blown crisis and they kept his salary as tight as possible, for appearances sake. I could also argue that Yow has a tougher job than Bubba, but I don’t want to get that argument started. From all that I can see, Bubba is a decided upgrade at the position (just as I think Yow was when she was hired) from his predecessor, and he is probably deserving of his premium salary (just… Read more »