‘Seller’s market’ in presidential compensation

University presidents’ salaries have risen significantly over the last decade, with the top-paid academic in Canada now breaking $500,000 in total compensation, an escalation some attribute to the ivory tower becoming increasingly corporate, wrote The Record in Sherbrooke, Que., April 17.

Peter George of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. earned almost $505,000 in salary and benefits in 2007 for leading the 24,000-student institution, according to figures released by the province of Ontario.

His compensation, the highest in Canada, outpaced that for the presidents of much larger institutions such as the University of Toronto, the University of Alberta, York University and the University of British Columbia.

The leaders of those institutions, however, all earned at least $400,000 last year, more than double the pay that would have been considered generous a decade ago.

"It’s becoming a seller’s market in high positions in the university world," said Phyllis Clark, vice-president of finance and administration at the University of Alberta. "There are not a lot of people with qualifications who are willing to do the job."

Examining sexual health services

In its regular "Deep Thoughts" column April 17, the Toronto Star profiled research by Roxana Salehi, a third-year PhD candidate in York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies.

Thesis: Toronto sexual health services and newcomer youth: what does an effective sexual health strategy look like for this group?

The project: Salehi is working with groups, such as Planned Parenthood Toronto, on a community-based public health project that surveys immigrant teens about their sexual health issues. Youth aged 16-26 account for a sizable portion of immigrants (16 per cent in 2006), yet "newcomer youth are often overlooked," says Salehi. "There is only a small amount of research on newcomers’ sexual health, and even less of it relates to youth."

The results: Of newcomer youth, nearly 75 per cent had never gone to a sexual health clinic and 18 per cent had never received sex educaton. They did want to know more about sexual health issues, however – the top three topics they wanted to discuss were healthy relationships, HIV and birth control.

What’s next: Salehi is working on a community report with Planned Parenthood that will recommend changes to sexual health services for immigrant youth. She hopes it will lead to changes in policy throughout the city. "The great thing about this is it has opened up a lot of other possibilities and opportunities that can be looked at more in-depth," Salehi says.

Increase police powers, says OSC chief 

Boosting police powers was one of several ideas Ontario Securities Commission chairman David Wilson cited yesterday as a way to improve Canada’s white-collar crime enforcement record, reported the National Post April 17. Appointing special prosecutors to handle economic crime cases — suggested by former Supreme Court justice and York Chancellor Peter Cory and former Osgoode Hall Law School dean Marilyn Pilkington in a report on securities law reform — is needed because they are "very complex crimes to analyze, identify and pursue," Wilson said.

Disappear Here opens Saturday at Glendon Gallery

Young emerging artist Lauren Nurse presents her master of fine arts thesis works in the installation Disappear Here opening Saturday at Glendon Gallery, reported InsideToronto.com April 16. Nurse exhibits print works on unconventional supports, installation pieces and sculptural works as the culmination of two years of graduate study.   

On air 

  • Religious studies Professor Emeritus Barrie Wilson spoke about his new book How Jesus Became Christian on CBC Radio’s “Radio Noon” (Montreal) April 15. 
  • Dr. Peter Walker, special adviser to President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri, spoke about the proposal for a new medical school at York on CBC Radio news April 16. 
  • Prof. James Stribopoulos of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School talked about the staying of charges against four men in the Brampton terror case on CBC Radio’s “Metro Morning” (Toronto) April 16.