Dalhousie releases public‑sector compensation report for 2018‑19

- July 25, 2019

Dalhousie’s report of its employees whose compensation (salary, benefits and pension) exceeded $100,000 last fiscal year is now available on the Government of Nova Scotia’s website.

The university is required to publicly report this information annually, alongside all other public-sector organizations in Nova Scotia.

See the full report: Dalhousie University Public Sector Compensation Disclosure 2018 [PDF]

Details of the report

In 2018-19, there were 1,063 Dalhousie faculty and administrative staff whose compensation totaled $100,000 or more. Of this number, 83.8% were faculty and 16.2% were administration/staff.

Dalhousie has more than 6,000 faculty and staff, making it one of Nova Scotia’s largest employers — and thus, the university has more employees on its salary disclosure list than many other public-sector employers in the province.

All salaries at Dalhousie increase each year, as the university’s collective agreements and contracts are designed to take cost-of-living increases into account. This year’s increase in the number of individuals on the list — up from 980 last year — is also the result of two other factors: a salary increase to female full professors as a result of a pay equity review, and retro pay (two years’ worth) paid out to members of the Dalhousie Faculty Association as part of their new collective agreement.

Ian Nason, vice-president finance and administration, says it’s important that Dalhousie continue to offer competitive salaries that reflect the contributions of its faculty and staff and compare well with peer universities across Canada and around the world.

“Our success as Atlantic Canada’s leading research university depends on being able to attract and retain dedicated and talented people,” says Nason, noting that in both faculty and administration that the university’s recruiting lens is increasingly looking beyond Canada’s borders.

How Dal compares

Statistics Canada collects data on salaries of full-time teaching staff at Canadian universities. Of the 55 institutions that have submitted data for 2018-19 as of press time, the average salary across all academic ranks (including deans and medical/dental faculty) sits at $127,808. That average is higher among the U15 group of Canada’s leading research universities: $149,266, based on the 11 U15 members who have reported data for 2018-19.

Dalhousie’s average salary for full-time teaching staff (including deans and medical/dental faculty) sits at $140,300 — just about midway between the national and U15 averages.

Another way of looking at salaries, comparatively, is as a percentage of overall operating expenditures. As outlined in the most recent Budget Advisory Committee reports, Dalhousie spends 35.9% of its operating budget on academic salaries — above the U15 average of 33.5%. Non-academic salaries make up 26.4% of the operating budget, which is below the U15 average (27.9%). Senior administrative salaries (the President, Provost or Vice-President and their direct reports) are separate from both these numbers, and constitute just 1.7% of Dal’s total operating expenditures.

Presidential salary

Outgoing President Richard Florizone received compensation this past year of $489,099. This included his nine months at the university as president and three months of the one year of administrative leave he was entitled to under his contract.

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.

Peter MacKinnon, who served as interim president during January-March of this report, is not included on the list as his total compensation during that period did not exceed $100,000.

For more information on the Nova Scotia Public Sector Compensation Disclosure Act, visit the Government of Nova Scotia’s website.

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