University Secretariat and Legal Counsel

University Secretariat and Legal Counsel

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Executive Compensation

To the Queen’s community:

The Province of Ontario has implemented a new framework for broader public sector executive compensation, including capping salary payments for designated executives at hospitals, universities, colleges, school boards, and government agencies. As it relates to Queen’s, the designated executives are the Principal and Vice-Principals.

Queen’s is committed to ensuring that there is a balance between managing compensation costs while allowing the university to attract and retain the talent needed to support the academic mission of the university. The university’s success requires well-rounded and expert leadership. Thoughtful consideration in support of our academic mission has been given to build the most appropriate Executive Compensation Program for Queen’s in order to preserve that success.

The Queen’s Board of Trustees has considered the requirements of the Broader Public Sector Executive Compensation Act (2014), and the subsequent Regulation 400/17 (effective November 1, 2017). The Queen’s draft Executive Compensation Program ensures that the university is compliant with those requirements. As part of the consultation phase, we invite members of the Queen’s community to comment on the program.

Once you have had a chance to review the program document, please submit your comments to exec.comp@queensu.ca. We welcome comments up to January 4, 2018.

Thank you for your interest.

Donald M. Raymond
Chair, Board of Trustees
Queen’s University

Executive Compensation Program

After an eight year pay freeze, the Ontario government has recently put in place a new framework for executive compensation that applies to a range of public sector organizations, including universities, colleges, hospitals, school boards, and several other public bodies. It also has in place new requirements for how salary increases are reviewed, approved, and communicated with the public.

The requirements are established in the form of a regulation that requires each university to create its own executive compensation program. As it relates to Queen’s, the designated executives are the Principal and Vice-Principals.

In September 2016, the province introduced Ontario Regulation 304/16 in support of the Broader Public Sector Executive Compensation Act (2014), and subsequently introduced Ontario Regulation 400//17, effective November 1, 2017. The regulations set out the details and implementation timelines for executive compensation programs for all employers within the broader public sector.

Queen’s University strives to attract, retain, develop, and recognize the best and brightest executive leadership to support the university’s vision as Canada’s research-intensive university that delivers a transformative student learning experience.

Queen’s is committed to maintaining a competitive, effective, and responsible approach to managing executive compensation following a key set of guiding core principles. These principles are: 

  • Queen’s must be competitive with the talent market.
  • The program must support the vision of the university.
  • The university is accountable to the Board of Trustees and the government in implementing the program.
  • The program is reflective of the academic compensation model, which will enable Queen’s to attract executive talent from among academic leaders. 

Comparator executive positions and organizations

The compensation of designated executives was determined through an analysis of appropriate comparable positions at comparator organizations. To efficiently obtain the data, Queen’s participated in the commission and use of a salary survey spearheaded by the Council of Ontario Universities. For each Queen’s designated executive position, the best possible matching or comparable positions from comparator organizations was obtained from the data available through this survey.

These comparative figures were used to establish a salary cap at the 50th percentile for each comparable role. Queen’s executives all have salaries well below these caps, and as indicated in the program, increases are limited to five per cent of the pay envelope of the Principal and Vice-Principals, and may be distributed differentially.  

Designated executives

  • Principal and Vice-Chancellor
  • Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)
  • Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration)
  • Vice-Principal (Research)
  • Vice-Principal (Advancement)
  • Vice-Principal (University Relations)

Comments

In accordance with government regulation, this Board of Trustees approved program is to be posted for public comment for a period of 30 days. Please provide written comments to this program to exec.comp@queensu.ca up to January 4, 2018.

Q & A

What is the Broader Public Sector Executive Legislation and what is the impact of the legislation?

In 2014, the Province of Ontario introduced the Broader Public Sector Executive Compensation Act, 2014 (BPSECA). This legislation authorized the government to establish frameworks and set out principles that all designated Broader Public Sector (BPS) employers must follow regarding executive compensation. These included ensuring that there is a consistent and evidence-based approach to setting compensation, ensuring that there is a balance between managing compensation costs while allowing employers to attract and retain the talent they seek, and ensuring that there is transparency in how executive compensation decisions are made.

Following consultation with multiple stakeholders in the BPS, in 2016 the Province introduced Ontario Regulation 304/16 in support of the BPSECA, effective Sept. 6, 2016, and subsequently introduced Ontario Regulation 400/17, effective November 1, 2017.

The regulations set out the details and implementation timelines for executive compensation programs for all employers within the BPS and allow for increases for the first time in approximately eight years.

Why is Queen’s implementing a program?

Queen’s University falls within the broader public sector, therefore must follow the regulations set out by the Government. Once government has approved the proposed program, a BPS employer will then seek public feedback by posting the Program on a public-facing website for a minimum 30 day period. 

The Board of Trustees has considered the requirements of the BPSECA and the regulations and has approved the program set out below to ensure that the Queen’s University is compliant with those requirements.

After considering public feedback, the Executive Compensation Program will be submitted to the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development for approval. Once approval is granted, the finalized program will be posted on the Queen’s website and the program will be in effect.

Who is responsible for the program?

The Board of Trustees has approved the Executive Compensation Program and has delegated authority for the development and administration of the program to the Human Resources Committee of the Board of Trustees. The Human Resources Committee will have the authority to set the compensation for Queen’s designated executives, within the parameters of the program.

Which executives does this impact?

After having reviewed the regulations, this program applies to the following positions at Queen’s:

  • Principal and Vice-Chancellor
  • Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)
  • Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration)
  • Vice-Principal (Research)
  • Vice-Principal (Advancement)
  • Vice-Principal (University Relations)

Who is Queen’s comparing itself to and why?

In order to efficiently obtain data regarding comparable positions at comparator organizations, Queen’s participated in the commission and use of a salary survey spearheaded by the Council of Ontario Universities. For each Queen’s designated executive position, the best possible matching or comparable positions from comparator organizations were obtained from the data available through this survey.

The resulting comparator group is Canada’s U15 group of research intensive universities which reflects a cross-section of the Canadian university talent market in which Queen’s competes for executive talent, and has been approved by the government. The only U15 institutions not included in the Queen’s comparator group are the two primarily francophone universities. The comparator group includes the following universities:

  • University of Alberta
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Calgary
  • Dalhousie University
  • University of Manitoba
  • McGill University       
  • McMaster University
  • University of Ottawa
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Waterloo
  • University of Western Ontario

After analyzing compensation packages at these universities, Queen’s was able to establish a salary cap at the 50th percentile for each comparable role. Does this means designated executives at Queen’s will receive immediate pay raises to bring them up to this level?

No. Queen’s executives all have salaries well below these caps, and as indicated in the program, increases are limited to five per cent of the pay envelope of the Principal and Vice-Principals, and may be distributed differentially. More details on the pay envelope and annual rate of increase can be found on page 8 of the Program document.

What is the overall cost to the university?

The current pay envelope for designated executives is approximately $1.7 million, which represents a very small portion of the operating budget of the university. Queen’s is committed to attracting and retaining key executive leaders and top faculty members and wants to ensure that Queen’s remains a highly sought after university in which to study and work.

Does executive compensation only include salary or are there other compensation factors included?

As a general rule, a designated executive shall not receive an element of compensation, other than salary and performance-related pay, unless the element is also generally provided, in the same manner and relative amount, to non-executive managers. However, a unique element of compensation may be provided to a designated executive where it is required for the performance of the designated executive’s job or is otherwise required for critical business reasons.