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Vice-President Appointments

Pursuant to Section 5.3.6 of the CFCC Faculty and Staff Handbook, the
President appoints all employees of the College, with the exception of senior
level administrator positions who are direct reports to the President. With
senior level administrators who are direct reports to the President, these
employees must be nominated by the president and approved by the Board of

Most importantly, Section 5.6.2 of the CFCC Faculty and Staff Handbook
provides that the President may make changes in a regular full-time
employee's job status through reorganization or reassignment without a

In the past 18 months, there have been no vice-presidents hired from outside
of the College. In that same period, one College dean was reassigned to a
vice-president position, with approval of the Board of Trustees in a public

Here is a link to the CFCC Faculty and Staff Handbook:

2. Computer Access Upon Employee Departure

Per the College's E-mail and Internet Policy in Section 12.2.1 of the CFCC
Faculty and Staff Handbook, "[t]he College monitors access to the computing
resources and reserves the right, without prior notice to users, to access the
College's computing resources and to use any and all information retrieved
from the computing resources. Users do not have an expectation of privacy
regarding their use of the computing resources, and by accessing and using
the College's computing resources, users expressly consent to such
monitoring, access, and use by the College."

For many years, the College has had a practice to proxy emails and/or mirror
the hard drives of departing employees as needed. This serves several
purposes: (1) to preserve important data; (2) to provide immediate access to
data stored by that employee in the event a need arises; and/or (3) to support
the continuity of service to College students and staff. The current employee
who receives access to proxy emails or through the mirroring of the hard
drive of a departing employee varies based on the job of the departing
3. Michelle Lee Salary and Raises

Michelle Lee is Senior Executive Assistant to the President and Board

Liaison, and she has worked with the College for nearly twenty years.
Michelle Lee began her employment with the College working for then-
president Eric McKeithan. She has worked with five College presidents.
Attached is a copy of her Job Description.

Michelle Lee's current salary is $104,556. Like other College employees, she
has received annual salary increases from the General Assembly as provided
to all community college system employees. Her last raise outside of the
General Assembly's process was in 2017, when her salary was raised to
$102,500. Prior to that raise, her last raise outside of the General Assembly's
process was in 2016 by then-President Dr. Amanda Lee, who is no relation.

For comparison purposes, the Assistant to the Chancellor and Assistant

Secretary to the UNCW Board of Trustees has a publicly-listed salary of
$186,000. There also is an Executive Assistant to the UNCW Chancellor who
makes $60,051, and there is a Chief of Staff for the UNCW Chancellor who
makes $150,000.

For other comparison purposes, the Clerk to the New Hanover County Board
of County Commissioners has a publicly-listed salary of $81,027. The
Executive Assistant to the County Manager has a publicly-listed salary of
$92,200. Michelle Lee serves CFCC as both the Board Liaison and as the
Senior Executive Assistant to the President, but making the single salary
above. New Hanover County also has a Deputy Clerk to the Board and an
Administrative Support Specialist, which the College president's office does
not have.

4. Michelle Lee's Access to Other Employees' Email

Michelle Lee does not have access to all employees' emails.

5. Interactions of President and Staff

Cape Fear Community College President Jim Morton has a positive working
relationship with faculty and staff. A contention was raised that he has
lunch with female employees. Given the responsibilities of his position,
President Morton regularly has working lunches with College employees,
both men and women. Another contention was raised that President Morton
was present in the car of his Senior Executive Assistant in the fall of 2019.
At that time, when President Morton's car was receiving an oil change, he
went to lunch with his Senior Executive Assistant in her car, and President
Morton was dropped off at the car dealership to retrieve his car.

There is no inappropriate relationship between President Morton and any

College employee. Any assertion to the contrary is false.

6. Salary of Tucker Lee

Tucker Lee is a Documentation Specialist for the College. He has been an

employee of the College since 2010. He has held the position of
Documentation Specialist since May 2017, which position he took at the
direction of then-president Dr. Amanda Lee, who is no relation. Except for
General Assembly adjustments, there have been no salary increases for
Tucker Lee since May 2017.

Tucker Lee's annual salary is $47,964. For comparison purposes, Mr. Lee
works most closely with Director Tina Ward. They both work in the
Continuing Education department performing similar roles. Her annual
salary is $49,992.

7. Melissa Singler

Melissa Singler served as Executive Vice President of Cape Fear Community

College from January 2018 until October 2019. Ms. Singler voluntarily left
Cape Fear Community College to become president of Robeson Community
College. The trustees of Robeson Community College selected her as the
sixth president of Robeson Community College.

Melissa Singler left Cape Fear Community College on her own terms, after
being a candidate for the Robeson Community College presidency. The
College knew about her interest in this position. Cape Fear Community
College is proud when its students, faculty, and staff have opportunities for
career advancement.

Cape Fear Community College wishes both Melissa Singler and Robeson
Community College the best moving forward.

8. Kumar Lakhavini Departure

On December 16, 2019, Kumar Lakhavini voluntarily resigned from the

College. No one escorted Mr. Lakhavini out of the building upon his
resignation. On December 18, 2019, he was told he could go ahead and leave
before the start of the holiday break, and he did so.

In his role as Director of IT, Mr. Lakhavini had access to all electronic data of
the College. He had access to all files and security systems. The College
previously has asked employees to leave upon separation from employment.
While the College could have escorted Mr. Lakhavini out of the building, and
this type of escort has occurred in other situations in the past, the College did
not escort Mr. Lakhavini out of the building.

9. Employment Decisions Outside of Senior Level Administrator Positions

Cape Fear Community College has a talented, hard-working, and diverse

team of faculty and staff. The College is going to have turnover because its
people are that good. In a strong economy, other opportunities will arise, and
the College is excited and proud when its students, faculty, and staff advance
in their careers.

Cape Fear Community College does not comment on personnel matters. The
North Carolina General Assembly made a policy choice to make personnel
matters confidential, with limited exceptions.


Media Release – Statement from John Upton

Job Description for Senior Executive Assistant to the President and Board Liaison