U of C not sharing in MRC’s bonus problems

By Darlene Seto

The monetary fiasco at Mount Royal College has left students, staff and members of the community-at-large furious and with heads shaking in disbelief. The situation has left observers at the University of Calgary wondering if such under the counter transactions could be occurring here without notice.

Three administrative vice-presidents at MRC were given bonuses of $50,000 each as an incentive to stay with the school while a new president came in. One of the vice-presidents who received the retention bonus is now leaving after his position was abolished. This during a time when the college is so financially strapped it can no longer support a swim team.

The situation at the U of C is different.

“This university does not give out bonuses,” stated U of C’s Vice-President Finance and Services Mike McAdam, dismissing the notion of such an event happening at the university.

“There is not that kind of compensation here. We have awards and other kinds of more non-traditional recognition for positions,” he said.

The U of C’s method of giving bonuses is quite normal, according to Terry White, former president of the U of C, and currently a professor of human resources and organization dynamics.

“There are occasionally bonuses for outstanding work at some universities,” stated White. “Those would not be near the [monetary] level of the Mount Royal bonuses.”

While there are adamant denials of financial rewards through bonuses, annual salary increases are rather dramatic at the university. In the year 2000-2001, the president’s salary was $226,000. For the Vice-President Academic and Provost, it was $181,000. In the last budgeting year of 2003-2004, the President’s salary rose to over $275,000 while the Vice-President’s salary was at $220,000.

“It is unfair to compare [the figures] for the presidents salaries, ” McAdam claimed. “The previous salary was probably of Terry White, while the more recent was Harvey Weingarten. Those are two different people, two salaries. When new people are hired, it is the market that dictates their pay rather than the exiting person’s salary.”