In an article published in the Journal de Québec Thursday, it was reported that President and Vice-Chancellor of Concordia University Alan Shepard’s base salary for the year is $357,000.
This comes as a $7,000 increase from Frederick Lowy’s income as interim president last year. Shepard is slated for a five-year mandate and if his income remains the same, he will receive $1,785,000 for the entirety of his term, not including benefits. Concordia allots an additional $73,000 in annual benefits for Shepard.
For his residence, the university designates a total of $50,400 each year. The Journal de Quebéc wrote that the university explained that Shepard was obligated to acquire a home that is larger than what he needs in order to accommodate a large number of guests.
The university also pays out $1,200 a month or $14,400 a year for Shepard’s vehicle. This includes expenses and maintenance but does not include gas. Furthermore, Shepard and his partner, along with their two children, receive French courses paid for in full as part of his contract.
The contract also includes membership to two clubs for “the purpose of advancement of the university” where the expenses are covered by Concordia.
The Board of Governors chairperson, Norman Hébert, was quoted as saying that Shepard’s earnings are reasonable. Hébert also said that while he realized the sensitivity surrounding directors’ high-end salaries, they serve to acquire the best senior employees for universities.
Unlike Hébert, Concordia Student Union President Schubert Laforest said he believes that Shepard’s contract is a “systemic problem” within the provincial education system.
“It’s really inappropriate,” said Laforest. “It’s a lot of money, it’s heartbreaking to see students and academics struggling financially.”
Laforest went on to say that this issue should be resolved at the upcoming education summit proposed by the Parti Québécois government. As part of her mandate, Premier Pauline Marois promised to investigate the fiscal management of post-secondary institutions and to invite students to provide their input on the governance of universities.
According to Concordia spokesperson Chris Mota, Shepard’s contract for his salary will not be available online like Lowy’s contract was, but it is available upon request.
While Shepard collects more than past presidents at Concordia, he is the not the highest earning administrator in Quebec. McGill University’s Principal Heather Munroe-Blum brought in $369,250 in 2011, not including perks totalling to an additional $120,481. Munroe-Blum is slated to complete her second five-year mandate at the end of this academic year. Guy Breton of the Université de Montréal also makes a pretty penny, banking approximately $365,000 per year.