Western University is under fire after Ontario’s annual Sunshine List was released last week, revealing that President Amit Chakma was paid $967,000 in 2014—more than twice his normal salary of $479,600. Chakma received the extra payment for foregoing a paid sabbatical at the end of his first 5-year contract and working through what a WesternU news release called a “critical time” for the university. MPP Peggy Sattler, NDP critic for Training, Colleges and Universities, raised the issue in legislature on Monday, asking the governing Liberals to prohibit similar double pay-outs to university presidents. Alison Hearn, President of the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association called the payment “a slap in the face.” Chirag Shah, Chair of WesternU’s board of governors, commented that “we are satisfied that the salaries of Western faculty and staff reflect fair compensation for each individual’s scope of responsibility, academic and professional credentials, and years of service.” An online petition of non-confidence in both Chakma and Shah has gathered almost 5,000 signatures. CBC | WesternU News Release | Ottawa Citizen | London Free Press | Peggy Sattler News


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