Dalhousie releases public‑sector compensation report for 2019‑20

- August 20, 2020

Dalhousie’s report of its employees whose compensation (salary, benefits and pension) exceeded $100,000 last fiscal year ending March 2020 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 2019-20 [PDF]

Details of the report

Dalhousie is one of Nova Scotia’s largest employers, with more than 6,000 faculty and administrative staff. Of those, a total of 1,066 individuals are included in this year’s report for receiving compensation of $100,000 or more, an increase of 3 individuals over last year’s report.

Most of the individuals identified in the report are faculty (82.5%) while the remainder (17.4%) are administrative staff. The overall total compensation paid to individuals on the list increased by approx. $235,000, or 0.15%, year over year.

All salaries at Dalhousie generally increase each year, as the university’s collective agreements and contracts are designed to take cost-of-living increases into account. This report reflects compensation for 2019-20. For the current year (2020-21) given the importance of fiscal prudence at this time, all senior leader salaries (the president, vice-presidents, vice-provosts, AVPs, deans and some others) will be frozen and the university is not adjusting salaries for non-unionized employees (DPMG, etc.). The university is heading into collective bargaining with the Dalhousie Faculty Association and its NSGEU locals this summer.

How Dal compares

Dalhousie’s average salary for full-time teaching staff, including deans and medical/dental faculty, sits at $141,343. This compares to an average of $150,752 among Dal’s peers in Canada’s U15 group of leading research universities, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada (2018-19).

Another way of looking at salaries, comparatively, is as a percentage of overall operating expenditures. As outlined in recent Budget Advisory Committee reports, Dalhousie spends 36.4% of its operating budget on academic salaries — above the U15 average of 32.7%. Non-academic salaries make up 26.7% of the operating budget, which is below the U15 average (28.2%).

Senior administration salaries

Senior administrative salaries (the President, Provost or Vice-President and their direct reports) constitute 1.9% of Dal’s total operating expenditures. The most recent numbers reported to the Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO 2017-18) show Dalhousie’s administrative spending at 6.3 per cent of total expenses. Dalhousie’s administrative costs are the second lowest in the U15 group of universities.  

President Deep Saini received $144,500 in compensation for his first three months as president, reflected in the report. President Saini’s annual compensation is $440,000. Given that 2019-20 was a transitional year in Dalhousie leadership, the report also includes compensation provided to Peter MacKinnon and Teri Balser for their service as Interim President and additional salary adjustments in the Vice-President Finance and Administration portfolio.

Former Dalhousie President Richard Florizone also received compensation this past year of $313,242, for nine months of administrative leave that he was entitled to under his contract. Administrative leaves are common practice in Canadian universities, where senior leaders with tenured academic position are provided time after their contracts are completed to support their transition back into academics, research or other pursuits. Since 2016, Dalhousie has capped administrative leave for eligible members of senior leadership (including vice-presidents with academic appointments and the president) to two years in total and for other academic leaders (Deans) to a maximum of one year.

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

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