UVI president gets 11% raise

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ST. THOMAS - The University of the Virgin Islands board voted Monday to approve an 11 percent raise for UVI President David Hall.

The president's salary for the last five years has been set at $315,000 - except for two years when it was reduced by 8 percent - and the board set the new salary at $350,000 per year for the next five years.

The new contract will be executed later this week, according to UVI officials.

The previous contract expires July 31, and the new contract will begin Aug. 1 and expire July 31, 2019.

According to UVI spokeswoman Nanyamka Farrelly, the new contract is very similar to the old one, except for the $35,000 salary increase and a provision mandating $100,000 be raised by Hall directly.

In the agreement, Hall made a commitment to raise $22.5 million in donations to UVI during the next five years, she said.

"This amount must consist of gifts of $100,000 or more, solicited by him, or obtained through fundraising programs initiated or developed by him," according to Farrelly.

UVI board chairman Alex Moorhead said he is happy that the board and Hall were able to reach an agreement to retain the president's service as the chief executive officer of the University for five more years.

"President Hall's job performance has been rated by the board as exceptional for four consecutive years as the result of his setting and achieving high goals and serving as an excellent ambassador for the university," Moorhead said in a written statement. "The board of trustees looks forward to President Hall's continued exceptional service as the chief executive officer of the university as the institution proceeds on the 'Pathways to Greatness.' "

Of the 17 board members, eight voted in favor of the new contract: Joshua Edwards, Carol Fulp, Luz Highfield, Moorhead, Henry Smock, Edward Thomas, Teresa Turner and the Rev. Wesley Williams. 

Board members voting against the contract were Oswin Sewer, Patricia Steele, Yvonne Thraen and Sinclair Wilkinson.

Jacqueline Sprauve abstained from the vote, and four board members - Donna Frett Gregory, Gwen Norton, Jennifer Nugent-Hill, and Hall - were absent.

American Association of University Professors UVI Chapter President Joseph Gaskin was frustrated by the news of the president's salary bump.

The union has been trying to negotiate a contract with the university for seven years, and in that time, full-time faculty have received only a $1,000 raise. They also had to endure two years of 8 percent salary cuts, mandated by the V.I. Legislature.

The cuts were restored in July, but Gaskin said that is money the faculty never will see again.

"No one on campus will complain because they are so afraid, and they've been beaten down so much, they will just accept it," Gaskin said. "There is nothing that we in the union can do except say that it is unfair."

He questioned the board's reasoning for the $35,000 raise for Hall.

"Since he became president, enrollment has gone down. So, on what basis did he get the 11.11 percent raise?" Gaskin asked.

Gaskin said the AAUP membership - about 107 full-time faculty members - will have to meet and decide what the union's next step will be.

Hall was hired by the board after a national search firm submitted more than 70 potential candidates for the university's top job.

Hall previously was a law professor at Northeastern University School of Law, and he has had a long career as an administrator at the school. He also served as a tenured professor at the law schools of University of Mississippi and University of Oklahoma.

Hall also has private-sector experience, and he previously worked for the Federal Trade Commission in Chicago.

He holds a doctorate of juridical science and a master's degree in law from Harvard Law School, a juris doctor and master's degree from the University of Oklahoma and a bachelor's degree from Kansas State University.

- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email alewin@dailynews.vi.

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