Board of Governors’ statement on compensation

Today, Western University’s Board of Governors announced an independent and impartial review of the university’s presidential compensation practices by the Honourable Stephen T. Goudge, former Justice of the Court of Appeal of Ontario.

Since the provincial government’s public sector salary disclosure on March 27, there has been significant attention regarding the compensation received by Western University President Amit Chakma last year.

Chirag Shah, Chair, Western University Board of Governors: “In this time of fiscal uncertainty and restraint in the post-secondary education sector, Western’s Board of Governors is highly sensitive to the concerns expressed by members of the Western community and the wider public. Accordingly, we have asked former Court of Appeal Justice Stephen T. Goudge to conduct a full, fair, and transparent review of the issue.”

The Board maintains Dr. Chakma’s contract was negotiated in good faith in the spring of 2009 to provide a competitive compensation package in line with peer institutions. Nonetheless, the Board is committed to implementing the recommendations that come forward from Justice Goudge.

The Board has every confidence in the leadership of Dr. Chakma. His leadership is internationally recognized. During his first six years as president, and with the support of dedicated faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners, he has achieved significant progress in enhancing Western’s academic reputation by:

  • Implementing a new strategic plan, Achieving Excellence on the World Stage, that maps out an ambitious plan for the future;
  • Achieving one of the highest student retention rates and graduation rates in Canada, as well as a 94 per cent employment rate within two-years after graduation;
  • Surpassing international enrolment targets to more than 10 per cent of the undergraduate student population;
  • Attracting more than $240-million in research funding annually; and
  • Raising $528 million toward our $750-million fundraising campaign, which has raised $83 million in student awards.

The Board is keenly aware of the financial sacrifices that many students make in order to attend Western and expresses a deep appreciation of the faculty and staff who are dedicated to providing the very best in teaching and research, as well as to alumni for their support.

While committed to ensuring a swift resolution to Justice Goudge’s review, the Board does not intend to comment further until his findings and recommendations have been delivered.

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Read the President’s statement on compensation.