The number of Thompson Rivers University executives earning more than $150,000 continues to grow, and the very top earner may take some by surprise.
Financial statements being presented during the Board of Governors meeting Friday show that 13 TRU employees now make between $150,000 and $200,000.
The number of people in the salary bracket was one in 2004 — the president.
That changed quickly in 2005 when the school received full university status. Within four years, 10 employees earned a salary within the higher range. Ever since, one employee per year has been added to that list.
TRU’s faculty association has been critical of the number of administrative staff earning high salaries.
There’s concern over the increasing number of management positions the university is creating.
“It’s amazing to me that a university can claim to be serving the best interests of the student and at the same time spending only about one-third of its expenses on faculty, the frontline people who try to help students become more educated,” said TRUFA president Jason Brown.
Meanwhile, student enrolment figures for both domestic and international students declined slightly, according to financial statements. The revenue generated from tuition and student fees declined by $114,000.
The university did not provide comment by press time.
Another change since the early days is that the highest salary does not go to the president but to Ulrich Scheck, the provost and vice-president academic.
The difference is minute — Scheck made a mere $316 more for an annual wage of $201,617.
However, Scheck’s $73,303 in expenses for the fiscal year ending in March versus president Alan Shaver’s $15,464 places him well over the top.
The next highest earner, vice-president administration and finance Cliff Neufeld, received $199,000. And with his expenses of $21,297, he also cost more to employ than Shaver. Neufeld retired last March.
The former dean of TRU’s law school, Chris Axworthy, also exceeded Shaver’s cost with $190,458 in salary and $35,501 in expenses.
The university has long sought higher compensation for Shaver. It argues comparable institutions are Royal Roads and University of Northern B.C., where presidents received upwards of $300,000.
Instead, Shaver's compensation is in line with University of Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island University.
Provincial rules that took effect in 2012 limit university executives’ compensation at a maximum of 85 per cent of any Crown CEO's pay.
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TRU remuneration by the numbers:
* President salary: $201,301
* Senior vice-president salary: $201,617
* Number of staff earning between $150,000 and $199,000: 13
* Number of staff earning between $100,000 and $150,000: 83
* Number staff claiming expenses over $10,000: 63
* Highest expenses claimed (Wesley Koczka, Associate Vice President, International and CEO Global Operations): $108,498
* Total of remuneration over $75,000: $ 41,164,415
* Total of remuneration less than $75,000: 43,907,545