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Incoming Memorial University president receives higher salary than predecessor

Vianne Timmons, the incoming president of Memorial University. - SaltWire File Photo

Vianne Timmons base salary 20K higher than outgoing president Gary Kachanoski's

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

The employment contract of Vianne Timmons, the incoming president of Memorial University, shows a higher base salary than her predecessor.

Total compensation for the position is $484,000, with a $450,000 base salary and $34,000 in annual benefits.

The base salary is $20,000 more than that of Timmons’ predecessor, Gary Kachanoski, an increase of slightly more than four per cent.

Denis Mahoney, vice-chair of Memorial University’s board of regents, says the higher salary comes from Timmons’ experience as the head of the University of Regina and also in the interest of equity.

“There were three guiding principles that informed every decision we made in connection with the negotiations. The first was the record of achievement, background qualifications and experience that Dr. Timmons was bringing,” said Mahoney.

“The second was we were informed by data that we had received from professionals about what is the level of compensation of benefits from presidents of comprehensive universities in Canada. Thirdly, was the principle of equity. We felt it was very important, as Dr. Timmons was coming with her particular credentials, that we wanted to ensure that she was treated equitably as a new president for Memorial University in comparison to the president she is replacing.”


Vianne Timmons, left accepts the Officer insignia of the Order of Canada, from Govenor General Julie Payette during a ceremony earlier this week. Photo special to The Guardian by Sgt Johanie Maheu/Rideau Hall
Vianne Timmons, left, accepts the Officer insignia of the Order of Canada, from Govenor General Julie Payette during a ceremony earlier this week. Photo special to The Guardian by Sgt Johanie Maheu/Rideau Hall

Included in the employment contract is a $1,000 car allowance, which is a taxable benefit. Another $1,500 monthly housing allowance is also included and is also a taxable benefit.

The contract also allows for severance payments in the event of the early termination of Timmons’ contract for any reason.

Timmons will also receive a $25,000 research grant that can only be spent on research, and cannot be paid out.

The provincial government has been moving away from allowing severance benefits in its agreements, recently ending them for members of public-sector unions and within the civil service generally.

Mahoney says keeping the severance provision is within the norm for contracts of university presidents throughout the country.

“In the course of the negotiations, we were guided by three key principle as it relates to any provision in that contract, generally or specifically,” he said.

“The terms and conditions in that contract are representative of the compensation and benefits that are provided for presidents of Canadian universities that are comprehensive and comparable to Memorial University. For the benefits that relate upon termination of the relationship, the same principle does apply.”

Timmons’ term as president of Memorial University begins on March 31.

Twitter:@DavidMaherNL

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