In February 2020, I raised the issue of administrative bloat at Memorial University in a CBC interview. See an excerpt below:
A student activist hoped to generate public outrage this week by widely sharing details with news reporters of the pay package for Memorial University’s new president — but those efforts appear to have fallen short.
When Vianne Timmons was introduced as MUN’s new president in December, Matt Barter went looking for the details, with an access-to-information request.
“I was outraged about what I discovered,” Barter said.
Documents supplied to Barter show the university spent nearly $150,000 on the external search for a new president, with most of that spent on “professional services” for a headhunting firm and advertising costs.
Barter found Timmons’s contract is nearly a mirror image of outgoing president Gary Kachanoski.
Barter was hoping Memorial would tighten the purse strings.
“This does not represent that. This represents the status quo,” said Barter, who added he has witnessed “administrative bloat”‘ and “misspending” since beginning his studies at MUN in 2015.
Timmons will receive a base pay of $450,000, an $18,000 yearly housing allowance, and $1,000 per month for her vehicle costs. She will also receive a $25,000 yearly research grant, travel perks and much more.
That’s around what Kachanoski is earning, but is a bump up from the $337,000 base salary she’s earning at the University of Regina.
Over the five-year term of her contract with Memorial, Timmons will earn more than $2.5 million to run a St. John’s-based university that receives a vast majority of its operating budget from the provincial treasury.
Barter called the contract “lavish and outrageous” and said MUN missed a chance to cut costs at the very top, at a time when budget cuts are squeezing the university.
But that view is not shared by the student union.