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Is Concordia’s president worth his weight in gold?

by The Concordian October 16, 2012
Is Concordia’s president worth his weight in gold?

If I had a million dollars…I wouldn’t be as rich as Alan Shepard will be after only three years at Concordia.

That’s what it’s like earning $357,000 a year, not including benefits. We hate to ask the obvious questions, but why does someone who makes all that money need extra money to pay for a house anyway? It’s not like Shepard would be on the street if the university didn’t give him a housing allowance.

As much as we appreciate the fact that he uprooted his life in Toronto when he accepted the position at the university, it remains unclear why anyone who works normal nine-to-five hours should be paid so much for doing, well, so little.

While Concordia’s presidential salary is, in fact, lower than both McGill’s and Université de Montréal’s, it’s still no justification. We don’t want to sound crazy here, but what if the university simply decided not to pay someone such an exorbitant amount for executing this job?

Concordia is a university with a lot of potential and it would bring us nothing but joy to see this institution flourish under Shepard’s leadership. However, this systemic problem of overpaid administrators really has gotten out of hand.

If the president needs to be flown somewhere for recruiting and schmoozing, fine. If he needs to charge a couple of working lunches now and then, that’s okay by us. If he wants to get French lessons to help his family integrate into Quebec society, be our guest. Call it a Christmas bonus.

What we really take issue with, namely because it isn’t just, is that the administration is sucking money out of students who are lucky if they can manage going to school and working part-time. All the while, the administration is complaining about how hard-up they are when they can still afford to pay such a presidential sum.

Clearly, Shepard’s salary is no big deal to the people in charge. In fact, his contract alots him $7,000 more than his predecessor Frederick Lowy, who is most remembered not for his actions, but for his condo.

Is this the leadership Shepard is referring to when he told The Gazette he gives governance at Concordia an “A+?” Probably not.

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