The Fayetteville State University Board of Trustees executive committee met Tuesday as controversy mounts over the appointment of Darrell Allison as the school’s next chancellor.
The board members did not discuss the growing opposition to the former board of governors member by students, faculty, alumni and even trustees themselves. Instead, they agreed to lease Allison and his family a house in Fayetteville for the next four months. The price tag: $3,100 per month.
As with all UNC System chancellors, Allison’s contract provides him the use of a car and residence in addition to his $285,000 per year salary. Allison will officially take the school’s top leadership post on March 15, but Interim Chancellor Dr. Peggy Valentine will need to move out of the house the school keeps for the school’s chancellor before Allison and his family can take residence. Time is also needed to make any repairs or renovations, Vice Chancellor for for Business and Finance Carlton Spellman told board members Tuesday.
“We anticipate that will be somewhere between 90 days and we just want to give ourselves a bit of a buffer and we’re doing everything we can to facilitate a smooth transition between Interim Chancellor Valentine and Chancellor-elect Allison,” Spellman said in the remote meeting.
Four months was the shortest lease the school found available in the area, Spellman said, and would assure enough time for a proper transition.
When Spellman revealed the $3,100 per month figure, an unidentified voice on the video call was heard to say “Hell no!,” leading to laughter.
After a short discussion, the board members approved the expenditure.
It was widely expected there would be some discussion of the ongoing opposition to Allison as the school’s new chancellor. But this week, sources on the board told Policy Watch that attorneys for the UNC System have again warned them against public discussion of the confidential search process.
On Tuesday, the American Association of University Professors voiced its opposition to the search process that ended with Allison’s appointment, adding to a chorus that already included the school’s Faculty Senate, student government leaders and national alumni association.
“We understand that, consistent with AAUP-supported standards, faculty representatives served on Fayetteville State University’s chancellor’s search committee and the evaluation of five finalists, which did not include Mr. Allison [the former Board of Governors member who was chosen], by the board of trustees took into account comments received from the faculty at-large following virtual forums,” the group wrote in a letter to Stuart Augustine, chairman of the school’s board of trustees.
With the choice of Allison, the letter said, it is obvious that the inclusion of faculty in the process was disingenuous.
“For the board to change course and appoint Mr. Allison suggests that the faculty’s participation in the search process was merely for appearance’s sake and calls into question whether the search itself was conducted in good faith,” the group wrote. “That the board instead appointed as chancellor a candidate who was not among the five finalists raises the more serious concern that the board subordinated principles of shared governance entirely in its disregard of the faculty’s appropriate role in the process.”