Pay raise, perks for UVI president?

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ST. THOMAS - The University of the Virgin Islands board will meet behind closed doors today to discuss UVI President David Hall's new five-year contract.

In an illegal meeting on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, the board authorized chairman Alex Moorhead to negotiate a new contract with Hall.

However, as the board did not publicly announce the date and time of the meeting - as required by the territory's open meetings law, the board later announced it would hold off on negotiations with Hall until another meeting could be held.

In a properly announced meeting in December, the board again met and approved the resolutions.

The board has authorized Moorhead to negotiate and execute an agreement with Hall for the position of president from Aug. 1, 2014, to July 31, 2019, according to UVI spokeswoman Nanyamka Farrelly.

Moorhead told The Daily News on Friday that he is bringing the contract back to the board because some of what it contains may be outside the authority he was given by the board.

"An agreement has been reached on the contract between Dr. Hall and myself," Moorhead said. "However, I don't have the authority to execute it, because it varies to some degree from the parameters that I was authorized by the board to negotiate within."

Moorhead would not speak to the salary included in the proposed contract.

UVI faculty members are hoping the board is fair in the president's compensation package, considering they have had to endure two years of salary cuts themselves.

"We are at the bottom of the payscale for universities and the president's salary is at the top end," American Association of University Professors UVI Chapter President Joseph Gaskin said.

"We've been trying to negotiate a contract with the university for almost seven years," he said.

In those seven years, the full time faculty has received only one raise of $1,000, and has taken an 8 percent salary cut for the past two years with no indication that it will be restored anytime soon, Gaskin said.

Gaskin said the union's contract has been stuck on the non-economic parts of the agreement, and the administration will not negotiate pay until those parts are negotiated.

"So, we believe that if the president received a raise in pay, the faculty should receive the same amount," he said. "We are happy for him if he's getting a raise, but we should get something comparable."

"We need a raise to survive, period. The same reasons why he richly deserves a raise, applies to all of us," Gaskin said. "Some of us are struggling just to send our kids to public schools."

The board will meet at 3 p.m. today in the third-floor conference room of the Administration and Conference Center on UVI's St. Thomas campus.

- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email

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