Nova Scotia

N.S. University administrator salaries soaring: report

A new report by the Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers is taking aim at salaries of administrators in Universities across the province.

Report by Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers draws criticism

The report says university administration costs have increased significantly, while tuition is also rising. (CBC)

A new report by the Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers is taking aim at salaries of administrators in universities across the province.

It says administration spending has soared on average by 27 per cent over the last seven years. The study did not include Dalhousie University and the University of Kings College.

ANSUT's report, called A Culture of Entitlement, singles out the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish. It says NSCAD's administration costs are up 53 percent. St. FX is up by 77 per cent.

Chris Ferns of ANSUT says there's no excuse for the spending. (CBC)

Late Tuesday, St. FX offered its reply, saying the increase reflects the hiring of two new deans and a new vice-president.

But ANSUT said with tuition rising, there's no excuse.

"I find it really unconscionable that administrators are getting in some cases six per cent pay increases as students are paying more and government funding is going down," said President Chris Ferns. 

"I can't see how people in receipt of those kind of increases can look themselves in the mirror."

The report also said Acadia University in Wolfville paid former Presidents $907,627 in administrative leave, while at the same time shelling out $1,476,882 in salaries to current Presidents.

Opposition weighs in

The province's opposition parties are demanding action.

"The government should call in the auditor general and have a full value audit," said Jamie Baillie, leader of the Progressive Conservatives.

Peter Halpin of the Council of N.S. University Presidents says the report does not show both sides of the story. (CBC)

The professors want the government to set appropriate levels for university administration spending and hold the universities to it.

Universities said Tuesday they have not had time to examine the findings recommendations and analysis.

"The claim made by ANSUT is unfounded," said Peter Haplin, with the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents. "Our university presidents and senior administrators are generally paid less than their counterparts right across the country."

"It's up to them to do what they have to do to attract good quality people both faculty and administrators," said Ava Czaplay, Executive Director of Nova Scotia Higher Education. "The government doesn't weigh in on that."