Dalhousie releases public sector compensation report for 2015‑16

- August 10, 2016

Each year, public sector organizations in Nova Scotia, including Dalhousie, are required to report the names and salaries of all employees whose compensation exceeds $100,000. This information is made available on the Government of Nova Scotia’s website in the interest of transparency and public accountability.

Dalhousie’s report for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016 was published on August 9, along with other post-secondary institutions and eligible not-for-profit organizations in the province. 

See the full report: Dalhousie University Public Sector Compensation Disclosure 2016

Below is some additional background on the report.

Details of the report

Of the 975 Dalhousie faculty and administrative staff whose compensation totaled $100,000 or more last year, 895 (91.8%) were faculty, while the remaining were administrators or senior university staff (with no academic affiliation). The salaries for the university’s president, vice-presidents, deans and other senior leaders are also included in the report.

Dalhousie strives to offer competitive salaries to recruit and retain the best people. As the only Atlantic Canadian member of Canada’s U15 group of leading research-intensive universities, Dalhousie recruits for researchers, faculty and staff across North America and internationally. With more than 6,000 faculty and staff, Dal is one of Nova Scotia’s largest employers, and its size and professional Faculties (such as Medicine) means the university has more employees on the list than many smaller employers in the province.

All salaries at Dal increase each year through the university’s collective agreements and contracts that are designed to take cost-of-living increases into account. Consequently, more individuals are included in Dal’s report this year — 34 more who received $100,000-plus in compensation — in part related to collective agreements and the implementation of their associated salary increases.

Presidential salaries and administrative leaves

Dalhousie President Richard Florizone received compensation this past year of $409,929. As outlined in his contract [PDF], the president’s salary increases each year based on the review and recommendations of the Board of Governors.

President Emeritus Tom Traves is also included in Dal’s public sector compensation report. The administrative leave provision in his contract allowed for an additional year of salary for each five-year term he completed. Therefore, the 2015-16 list includes $473,256 in compensation for Dr. Traves. This year is the last year that the full annual salary for President Emertius Traves will be reflected in the report.

Administrative leave provisions are common practice in Canadian universities, where senior leaders with academic backgrounds are provided time after their administrative terms are completed to engage in academic work and return to academic duties. Beginning this year, Dalhousie will cap administrative leave for eligible members of the senior leadership (including vice-presidents with academic appointments and the president) to a maximum of two years in total. President Florizone’s contract includes one year of administrative leave following his current term.

How does Dal compare?

Dalhousie’s salaries for faculty are competitive with national averages. In 2011, the last time Statistics Canada collected data on academic staff salaries, the average salary of full-time teaching staff in Canada was $115,513. The Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents continues to collect data for its province; as of 2013, the average salary across all academic ranks was $130,310.

President Florizone’s salary, while competitive with those at similar-sized institutions, is among the lowest in the U15.

At Dalhousie, administrative spending overall is among the lowest in Canada. The most recent numbers reported to the Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) have Dalhousie’s administrative spending at 6.6 per cent of total expenses for 2014/15 — a decrease from 6.9 percent in 2013-14. Among the U15, Dalhousie’s administrative costs continue to be the second lowest, and among Nova Scotian universities — where the average percentage of administration costs is 14.5 per cent — Dalhousie’s percentage is the lowest.
For more information on the Nova Scotia Public Sector Compensation Disclosure Act, visit the Government of Nova Scotia’s website

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