Western University to review practises after Amit Chakma paid nearly $1M

A former judge says Western University needs to revamp the way it negotiates and compensates presidents, after its current president was paid almost $1 million, double his usual salary.

A former judge says Western University in London needs to revamp the way it negotiates and compensates its presidents after the current president was paid almost $1 million, double his normal salary, because he did not take a sabbatical.

Stephen Goudge, who wrote a report on the salary issue, says the university's board of governors acted in good faith when it allowed Amit Chakma to be paid a double salary after working through a negotiated administrative leave.

But Goudge says the practice is not in line with other universities and a more transparent and coherent contract
negotiation should be implemented going forward.

"I think a lot of people will be disappointed in what they read and the fact that there was this secret deal behind closed doors," said Kristen Hoffman, the president of the faculty association. "We expect more transparency." 

Western's board of governors says it will review the way it compensates its presidents and will re-examine how it deals with administrative leaves.

The report, commissioned by the school's board of governors, says Chakma took the money instead of leave in order to directly benefit his pension fund.

Chakma came under intense scrutiny after the 2014 public salary disclosure showed he was among Ontario's top earners, for which he apologized and said he'd refund the money.

with files from CBC London