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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

At CFCC trustee meeting, faculty lobby for pay increases, President Morton receives over $38,000 raise

Nelson Beaulieu presented the faculty association report at the CFCC Board of Trustees meeting.
Grace Vitaglione
Nelson Beaulieu presented the faculty association report at the CFCC Board of Trustees meeting.

Nelson Beaulieu, the new faculty association president, urged the Board of Trustees to advocate for faculty pay at the General Assembly during last night's meeting. President Jim Morton, meanwhile, received another significant pay raise.

Beaulieu, a former New Hanover County Board of Education member, told the CFCC Board at yesterday’s meeting that faculty are struggling because of low salaries.

“I wish I was always upbeat but when it comes to this issue, we are in crisis," he said.

He cited the state community college association as saying that faculty compensation in North Carolina ranks last of 50 states. Faculty are leaving because the K-12 system offers higher wages, he said.

Beaulieu asked the Board to act as lobbyists for the faculty at the state legislature. The current state Senate budget proposal puts forth a 4.5% pay increase for teachers over two years–while the House proposed a 10.2% increase.

Beaulieu said the Senate version would be a “step backward” considering the rate of inflation.

Trustee and New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield said he supports state Senate Bill 377, which proposes a 20% salary increase for community college personnel over the next two fiscal years.

Last fiscal year, the General Assembly gave money to community colleges to help them stay competitive by raising salaries. CFCC received over $360,000 dollars from that fund, but upper administrationreceived larger bumpson average than most faculty and staff. CFCC has also gone up in the state community college rankings for faculty salary — going from 20th to 16th in the past year.

Also during the meeting, CFCC president Jim Morton received a 12% salary increase and an extension of his employment agreement for a total of 5 years. The board approved both unanimously, with little public discussion. Morton thanked the board for their support.

The 12% bump means a roughly $38,700 raise for Morton, bringing his salary to $361,296, effective June 1. This comes after 10% raises in 2022 and 2021.

Grace is a multimedia journalist recently graduated from American University. She's attracted to issues of inequity and her reporting has spanned racial disparities in healthcare, immigration detention and college culture. In the past, she's investigated ICE detainee deaths at the Investigative Reporting Workshop, worked on an award-winning investigative podcast, and produced student-led video stories.