Austerity for All? Comparing Administrator and Faculty Salary Gains

by Gillian Dearle, Member-at-Large - KFActs May 2012

As a result of the Government of BC’s “Net Zero” mandate, faculty at the top of scale at Kwantlen have not had a wage increase since March 31, 2010, which means 64% of Kwantlen faculty1 have experienced no increase in their wages for two years. However, has the same austerity been shared by Kwantlen administrators? The financial statements for 2011/2012 are not yet available, but while we wait for that information we can compare the salary gains for faculty with gains in administrators salaries from 2007 to 20102. This comparison suggests that while Kwantlen faculty members saw minor gains in their take-home salaries, several Kwantlen administrators experienced more substantial gains.

Although an exact comparison of faculty and administrator salaries is difficult because of the way each is recorded,3 it is apparent that administrator salary increases outpaced faculty salary increases from 2007 to 2010.  Nowhere are these gains more apparent than in the salaries for the position of the President, Vice President—Finance, and the Deans of Business and Design. 

Some Administrator Salary Increases: 2006-07 to 2009-10
Vice President, Finance and Admin. 40%4
President 26.6 %
Dean, School of Business 25.2%5
Dean, Design 11.4%

Meanwhile, Faculty at the top of the pay scale saw their salaries increase by 8.8% while NR1 faculty and faculty at the bottom of the pay scale increased by 6.45%. During this period, the national rate of inflation was 6.45%, which means that NR1 and starting salaries fell short of matching inflation. And while faculty at top of scale did comparatively better, it should be noted that increases in faculty wage in this period came at the cost of mining our Collective Agreement.

At the same time as administrative salaries have increased, many new administrative positions have been created. For example, in 2007 the Dean’s office in Qualifying Studies (now Academic and Career Advancement, or ACA) consisted of the Dean and his assistant. Now the Dean’s office in ACA consists of seven people: the Dean, the Associate Dean, the Divisional Business Manager, the Administrative Coordinator, the Coordinator of Professional Studies and Revenue Generating Initiatives, a Dean’s Assistant, and an Administrative Assistant. Similar growth has also occurred in the offices of the Dean of Trades and the Dean of Arts, among others.

Whether this bureaucratic growth is warranted by increases in enrolment, changes to programs, or additions to course offerings is open to debate. However, the key point is that the increase in administrative salaries and positions that has accompanied Kwantlen’s transition to a university has not been accompanied by a change in funding to pay for it. This means the university must do more with less, and Kwantlen's faculty seem to be bearing the brunt of that burden.

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Vice-President, Finance & Administration
2009/10 $171,290
2006/07 $122,269
Increase: 40.0% ($49,021)

2009/10 $235,274
2006/07 $185,853
Increase: 26.6% ($49,421)

Dean, School of Business
2009/10 $153,060
2006/07 $122,209
Increase: 25.2% ($30,851)

Dean, Social Sciences
2009/10 $136,246
2006/07 $111,621
Increase: 22.0% ($24,625)

Dean, Design
2009/10 $132,751
2006/07 $119,209
Increase: 11.4% ($13,542)

Executive Director, Information and Educational Technology
2009/10 $141,255
2006/07 $119,543
Increase: 18.2% ($21,712)

Executive Director, Facilities
2009/10 $133,038
2006/07 $119,439
Increase: 11.4% ($13,599)

Faculty, Top of Scale
2009/10 $84,896
2006/07 $78,010
Increase: 8.8% ($6,886)

Faculty, Bottom of Scale
2009/10 $52,833
2006/07 $49,639
Increase: 6.4% ($3,194)

NR1 Monthly FTE
2009/10 $5,651.34
2006/07 $5,309.75
Increase: 6.4% ($341.59)

Note: inflation in Canada was 6.45% from 2006 to 2010. (

Source for administrators’ salary: Public Sector Salary Database

Source for faculty salary:

1 According to the 23 March, 2012 payroll, 68% of faculty are regular, and of those regular faculty members, 94% are at top of scale, meaning that 64% of all faculty in this pay period are at top of scale.

2 That is, from the end of the 2004-07 Collective Agreement to the end of the 2007-2010 Collective Agreement.

3 In our Collective Agreement the Faculty wage scale represents only base pay, not inclusive of benefits and pension. However, the salaries for administrators on the Public Sector Salary Database (“The Schedule of Other Employee Remuneration and Expenses”) include base pay plus payment in lieu of holiday. An ideal comparison would use the base pay of administrators, but this information is only available for five executive administrators (the President and Vice Presidents) from 2007-08 onward and relying solely on this information would have meant omitting the remuneration of other administrators and deans.

4 Over this time the portfolio for this position expanded from Vice President, Finance to Vice President, Finance and Administration

5 The variation in decanal salary increases may partly be due to vacation payouts, as noted in Footnote 3.