Reality Check: Faculty compensation is not the problem

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Those who claim that faculty compensation is eating up university funding just don’t know the facts – or are trying to prevent Ontarians from learning the truth.
Right now, as a proportion of total expenses, province-wide full-time and part-time faculty represent barely 19 per cent of Ontario universities’ annual expenditures. When looking only at operating expenses, it is still less than a third – 29 per cent.
After declining as a proportion of expenses, faculty compensation did recover slightly when provincial government operating funding improved. But it was a short term phenomenon. The percentage of expenses represented by academic salaries only stabilized in 2008-09, before the provincial government’s fiscal restraint measures. While current data is not yet available, it appears that faculty compensation as a proportion of university expenses is again trending down.
The Liberal government says a wage freeze is needed to save money and pay down the deficit.  It is hard to know exactly where savings from full-time faculty are supposed to come from when they account for less than a fifth of total expenditures, and a less than a third of operating expenses.


Source: Council of Finance Officers – Universities of Ontario, Financial Report of Ontario Universities

This article originally appeared in the OCUFA Report. To receive stories like this every week in your inbox, please subscribe.

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