21 November 2013

Era of sense of entitlement reaches U of C

CEOs loading up on compensation and perks, even if their companies are floundering, has become a commonplace of our era. This sense of entitlement has similarly been observed among various politicians, including recently the Senate. Now it seems to have crept into the University of Calgary.

In a year when the university's operating and capital budgets were cut by $47-million, it is spending $8.1-million to renovate the offices of its top brass. And very nice renovations at that. Vice-president offices, for example, will be expanded to 20 per cent larger than the maximum stipulated by the U of C’s own design standards. The president's office, already almost the size of my apartment, will sport a 175 square foot ensuite washroom complete with closet space and a three-piece bath. The office complex will include a $150,000 staircase in order to allow executives to avoid a nearby public stairwell.

Because of the provincial cuts, the university will only be able to afford a third of the necessary upgrades to aging classrooms and is unable to reduce a deferred maintenance liability amounting to $400-million. But as long as the execs are not forced to mingle with the commoners as they trip gaily up their elegant staircase, all is not lost.

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