Message from the Chair of the Board of Governors of McGill University

Published: 13 December 2021

Following recent press coverage regarding McGill Principal’s compensation this year, I wish to clarify a number of key elements.

McGill University is recognized as one of the world’s leading universities. As such, the University is committed to attracting and retaining the best leaders by maintaining compensation practices competitive with other leading Canadian universities, including those in the U15 group.

In order to determine the appropriate compensation for McGill’s Principal, the Board of Governors, through its Human Resources Committee, regularly conducts a rigorous benchmarking analysis of compensation offered to executives at other Canadian universities. These analyses show that the Principal’s salary is comparable to those of the heads of other U15 universities. However, her compensation is much lower than that of executives at American, British or Australian universities.

Exceptionally this year, in addition to the Principal’s base salary, her compensation includes an amount accrued under the University’s supplementary executive retirement plan, based on years of service since the beginning of her tenure.

As required by law, this one-time, taxable amount is paid once a senior management member is no longer eligible to participate in the retirement program. This amount is payable at age 65 or later, in consideration of the years of service since he or she has been in office.

The Principal’s performance-related compensation comes from a McGill endowment fund, which was established in the 19th century through donor contributions specifically to ensure competitive compensation for this position. This compensation is not paid from public funds.

Furthermore, the Principal's compensation has been strictly aligned with the conditions of her contract signed in 2013.

Ram Panda
Chair of the Board of Governors
McGill University

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