Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Ontario's Sunshine list part 2....

So, I railed earlier on my blog against some people's annual reaction to the publishing of Ontario's "sunshine list" of public sector workers making over $100,000 (keep in mind that "public sector" isn't just bureaucrats, it's surgeons, judges, professors, University Presidents, hospital CEOs etc...) and as I work in a university, I wanted to add the following context with regards to the leaders of our universities in Ontario.

Of interest, for comparison to Ontario's sunshine list, is this article from Bloomberg. It’s on some of the top paid university leaders in the U.S.

Now, the highest paid University President in Ontario is apparently McMaster President Peter George ($494,807.14). The highest paid University President in the U.S. is Lynn University’s Donald Ross at $5.04 million.

Ross is followed by the heads of Willmington and Vanderbilt at (MUCH further down) $1.37 million and $1.33 million respectively. There are nine University President’s in the U.S. making over $900,000 a year. Now, I’ll admit many of these are anomalies, and not useful for comparison (they're also all private institutions but patience, we'll get to that in a moment...).

In the Ivy League (and while I’m not sure about Mac, I’d like to think U of T deserves a President who commands an Ivy League salary) the President’s salary ranges from $460,000 (Dartmouth) to just over $900,000 (University of Pennsylvania). U of T’s David Naylor makes $380,100.00 (though with almost 50,000 in taxable benefits, one could argue he's at least close to the absolute bottom of his Ivy League colleagues, at $429,682). So the President of Ontario's largest (and arguably best) university makes ALMOST what the lowest paid Ivy League President does. Almost.

But if you don’t think U of T is “Ivy League” (or deserves to strive to be) and/or you're hung up on the private versus public distinction, then let’s just look at the public universities in the U.S. The highest paid public university President in the U.S. is Michigan’s Mary Sue Coleman at $724,604. Just $300,000 more per year than U of T President David Naylor. What's more, there are 23 public University Presidents in the U.S. making over $500,000. TWENTY-THREE.

So, no University President in Ontario would crack the top 20 in compensation when compared to U.S. public universities. Not Karen Hitchcock at Queen’s ($340,000.02), nor David Johnston at Waterloo ($458,571.58), nor Paul Davenport at Western ($355,890.00). Not one University President in Ontario is being compensated at the level of the leader of a top 20 public university in the States.

None of which is to say that absolutely every person on the sunshine list deserves what they’re making, but I’m always sickened by some people’s reaction to the sunshine list every year.

You get what you pay for people, and if you’re not willing to pay for it, someone else will.

Recommend this Post


Sir Francis said...

I've always suspected that the deeply anti-intellectual Mike Harris and Co. conceived that invidious little list precisely to embarrass relatively well-paid post-secondary educators and administrators.

After all, how dare those people expect generous compensation for providing young people with the skills that are absolutely crucial to the continuance of our civilisation. It's not as if they're actually doing important work for their money, like, say, Wal-Mart's Board of directors...

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

If it makes you feel better Sir Francis, consider it this way. Want to know what I figure is pretty much the number one thing pushing up the salaries of university administrators?

The sunshine list.

Suddenly, the President of University X knows exactly what the President of University Y is making. So, lets say University X is the larger university, and is consistently ranked as the #1 university in Canada. University Y is smaller, and less highly ranked. So, what if the sunshine list shows that the President of University X is making $100,000 LESS than the President of University Y. Well, remember, University Presidents' salaries aren't exactly taken from a sliding scale. There are no collectively bargained ranges for salary (for President's). Presidents pretty much negotiate their own contracts. So when negotiation time comes around, the President of University X can say "Look, I run the largest and highest ranked university in the country. The President of University Y makes $XXX,XXX a year (see, it's right here in the Toronto Star). So, as President of a larger and arguably more successful institution, surely my compensation should be $XXX,XXX + $YY,YYY (if not $YYY,YYY).

Of course, if everyone's salaries weren't published in the paper every year, this couldn't happen.

I always find that hilarious this time of year.

While some people gripe about the people on the list making too much money, the people on the list can say "So and so at such and such a place makes $XXX,XXX!?!? I should be making more than that person!"

And if you'll forgive the mixed metaphor, the rising tide of sunshine lifts all boats.

Sir Francis said...

That's an excellent point, LKO. I have no doubt that you're onto something there.

Full disclosure: I teach at the University of Ottawa, but I'm nowhere near being at risk of ending up on that list (unfortunately!).

unknown said...

I was very happy that I found this site. I wanted to thank you for this excellent information!! I undoubtedly enjoyed every bit of it and I have bookmarked your website to check out the new article you post later on.
Fortbildung Muenchen video for business

unknown said...

The list has failed to keep up with the times and needs to be revised. There is a large hidden cost in the list that fails to disclose the true cost to taxpayers. The list includes the "taxable" benefits portion of a public sector employee's pay packet. Not included in the list are "non-taxable" portions of compensation.

get more visitors to website
tienda online de complementos

unknown said...

The process of installing data cabling for structured networks is a highly complex task that must be completed by a qualified company. Any business which is looking to set up a network should be sure they've hired an expert cable installer so they can be sure that the network will function as intended.

Data cabling, Fibre Optic cabling, Network cabling installation, Structured Cabling Movers San Jose CA