Dalhousie releases public sector compensation report for 2016‑17

- July 27, 2017

Each year, as is the case with all public sector organizations in Nova Scotia, Dalhousie is required to publicly report the names and salaries of all employees whose compensation exceeds $100,000.

Dalhousie’s report for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017 is now available on the Government of Nova Scotia’s website.

See the full report: Dalhousie University Public Sector Compensation Disclosure 2017 [PDF]

Details of the report

There are 1,005 Dalhousie faculty and administrative staff whose compensation totaled $100,000 or more in 2016-17. Of these, 834 (83%) are faculty, while the remaining 171 are administrators or senior university staff (with no academic affiliation).

The increase in individuals included in Dal’s report this year (113 individuals) is related to the fact that salaries of all Dalhousie employees increase each year to take into account cost-of-living increases, as outlined in the university’s collective agreements with its employee groups.

Ian Nason, vice-president finance and administration, says the number of Dalhousie individuals on the list reflects the university’s status as one of Atlantic Canada’s largest employers (with more than 6,000 faculty and staff) as well as the need for compensation to be competitive with other universities across Canada and beyond.

“In order to attract and retain the best people — one of our overall strategic priorities as an institution — we need to offer competitive compensation,” he says, noting that Dal’s competition when recruiting for researchers, faculty and staff is often national and international in scope.

Presidential salary

The salaries for the university’s president, vice-presidents, deans and other senior leaders are included in the report.

President Richard Florizone received compensation this past year of $436,058. As outlined in his contract [PDF], the president’s salary increases each year based on the review and recommendations of the Board of Governors. His salary, while competitive with those at similar-sized institutions, is among the lower of such contracts in the U15.

The report also includes President Emeritus Tom Traves for residual compensation benefits owed to him ($201,704.22). This includes the final three months of his administrative leave provision (as discussed in previous years), as well as earnings from his Supplemental Arrangement account. The latter is a savings plan offered to deans and senior administrators that allows them to defer a portion of their earnings until after retirement, a common practice among employers.

Administrative leaves are common practice in Canadian universities, where senior leaders are provided time after their contracts are completed to engage in academic work and return to academic duties. In 2016, Dalhousie capped administrative leave for eligible members of senior leadership (including vice presidents with academic appointments and the president) to two years in total.

How Dal compares

Statistics Canada just published new data on salaries for full-time teaching staff at Canadian universities. It reports that the median salary for all full-time academic teaching staff sat at just under $100,000 ($98,400, to be exact) in 2016-17. That median tends to be higher at research-intensive universities like Dalhousie and other members of the U15 group of leading research universities.

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 Dal’s administrative spending at 6.3 per cent of total expenses for 2015/16, a decrease from 6.6 percent in 2014/15 and second lowest among the U15 group. Among Nova Scotian universities, where the average percentage of admin expenses is 16.3 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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