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Executive Compensation Program available for comment

The draft of the program will be open for feedback for 30 days.

After an eight year pay freeze, the Ontario government has recently put in place a new framework for executive compensation that applies to a range of public sector organizations, including universities, colleges, hospitals, school boards, and several other public bodies. It also has in place new requirements for how salary increases are reviewed, approved, and communicated with the public.

At Queen’s University, the new executive compensation framework applies to the Principal, Provost, and four Vice-Principals. Over the past year, the Board of Trustees has been carefully considering the new requirements of the Broader Public Sector Executive Compensation Act (2014) and the subsequent Regulation 400/17 that came into effect in November. The Queen’s draft Executive Compensation Program ensures that the university is compliant with these requirements. As part of the consultation phase, members of the Queen’s community are now being invited to comment on the program.

As an institution, Queen’s mission is to advance research excellence, leadership and innovation, as well as enhance Queen’s impact at a national and international level. Both Queen’s and its Board of Trustees are committed to maintaining a competitive, effective and responsible approach to managing executive compensation, with the following core principles in mind – competitive with the talent market, support the university vision and Strategic Framework, accountability and be reflective of the academic compensation model.

To help create a responsible and effective executive compensation program, the province requires universities to compare their top executive compensation packages to those in place at comparable organizations. Queen’s used salary data collected by the Council of Ontario Universities and selected peer universities with medicals schools and high rankings for research that are also members of the U15.  These universities also reflect a cross-section of the Canadian talent market in which Queen’s competes for executive talent:

University of Alberta                           University of British Columbia

University of Calgary                          Dalhousie University

University of Manitoba                        McGill University       

McMaster University                           University of Ottawa

University of Saskatchewan               University of Toronto

University of Waterloo                        University of Western Ontario

These comparative figures were used to establish a salary cap at the 50th percentile for each comparable role. Queen’s executives all have salaries well below these caps, and as indicated in the program, increases are limited to 5% of the pay envelope of the Principal and Vice-Principals, and may be distributed differentially.  

“Queen’s is committed to ensuring that there is a balance between managing compensation costs while allowing the university to attract and retain the talent needed to support the academic mission of the university. The university’s success requires well-rounded and expert leadership. Thoughtful consideration in support of our academic mission has been given to build the most appropriate Executive Compensation Program for Queen’s in order to preserve that success,” said Donald Raymond, Chair of the Board of Trustees, in his letter to the Queen’s community.

This balanced approach will contribute to the financial sustainability of Queen’s and help ensure the university can continue to invest in top strategic priorities such as the faculty renewal initiative, the creation of new buildings and academic spaces on campus, along with expanding research opportunities and internationalization.

Members of the Queen’s community can comment on the Executive Compensation Program document up until Jan. 4, 2018 by emailing exec.comp@queensu.ca. For further information on the Queen’s Program, please visit the Office of the University Secretariat website.