UBC releases former president’s expenses, commits to ongoing transparency

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Media Release July 25, 2014

The University of British Columbia is making public the breakdown of expenses incurred during the 2013-14 fiscal year by then President and Vice Chancellor Stephen Toope. UBC will be publishing this report every year, reflecting what public institutions increasingly consider to be best practice in terms of accountability.

Most of Prof. Toope’s $175,690 expenses during the last fiscal year went to domestic and international business travel. The president’s responsibilities include forging international academic and research agreements, championing fundraising and alumni engagement, and holding high-level discussions with government and international partners.

UBC is a globally ranked university generating over $12 billion a year in economic benefits for B.C.,” said Pascal Spothelfer, vice president, Communications and Community Partnership. “The president is key to creating fruitful partnerships which can lead to added funding. That’s good for our students and good for B.C.”

In 2011, Prof. Toope launched Canada’s most ambitious university fundraising and alumni engagement campaign, with the $1.5 billion target now within reach. During his term, UBC concluded important agreements with top global institutions such as the Max Planck Institute of Germany and France’s Institute of Political Studies in Paris, as well as some of China’s and India’s most prestigious universities.

UBC already publishes the president’s compensation package every year – a requirement of the B.C. Public Sector Employers Act. For fiscal 2013-14, the president’s compensation was $587,366.

“UBC needs to attract and retain exceptional administrators to lead this very large global academic and research institution,” said Human Resources Vice President Lisa Castle. “There are very few people who can take this on, and we need competitive compensation to recruit them.”

The president’s salary remained the same during the eight years he served at UBC.  Fluctuations in the valuation of his benefits package resulted in slight year-to-year increases in total compensation.


UBC president’s expenses – fiscal year 2013-14

Expenses from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014 total $175,689.81, including $123,071.20 for domestic and international airfare and $32,374.46 for accommodation. On flights longer than 3.5 hours, UBC’s president travels business class in order to be as productive as possible during time in transit and upon arrival. Allowable expenses including spousal trips are stipulated in the president’s contract; spousal trips must be approved in advance by the Chair of UBC’s Board of Governors. Full information on policies guiding allowable expenses, as well as details of the 2013-14 president’s expenses can be found here

UBC president’s compensation

Compensation for fiscal 2013-14 can be found here. The nature of the UBC president’s compensation reflects the scope of the organization as well as the role’s direct responsibilities and expected results. Here is more information on how UBC compares to other leading universities for senior compensation, as well as UBC’s compensation reporting in accordance with B.C.’s Public Sector Employers Act.

Specific outcomes of the president’s 2013-14 travels and high-level meetings

Prof. Toope made a significant contribution to the following developments, announced during the past fiscal year:

  • Key interlocutor on a number of key initiatives, most notably in the establishment of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF), an investment by the federal government of $1.5 billion over the next 10 years that will provide UBC and other leading Canadian institutions with competitively adjudicated funding to advance global excellence. CFREF was announced in the 2014 federal budget.
  • During the year’s international travels, held 38 formal donor meetings and 13 donor events, yielding $33 million in fundraising revenue for UBC.
  • Cemented and in some cases expanded a number of signature academic cooperation agreements, notably with Chongqing, China and its top universities, as well as with Paris’ Institute of Political Studies (with which UBC now issues dual degrees), Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, Freie Universität Berlin, the Max Planck Society and the Fraunhofer Institute.
  • Took part in Governor General David Johnston’s mission to India and inaugurated UBC’s India Liaison Office in Mumbai; held further discussions with leading universities, colleges and prospective partners in India.
  • Worked to ensure UBC was awarded $585 million in total research funding and remained among the top three in Canada in terms of dollar value.
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