University of Toronto full professors earn the highest salaries on average in Canada, according to a report released by Statistics Canada.

The report showed that most Canadian universities pay salaries above $100,000 to tenured Professors. UofT averages $150,381 for Full Professors, including dental and medical. The University of Calgary came in second with full professors paid an average of $146,809. The University of British Columbia followed with $146,422.

The 2007/2008 report also listed the average salaries for Associate Professors and Assistant Professors. All ranks combined, including Deans, UofT still made the top of the list, averaging $122,159.

James Turk, Executive Director of the Canadian Association for University Teachers, thinks UofT’s lead in the report is owing to their endowments, prestige and international standing.

“Large research universities pay the highest salaries,” Turk said. “The faculty at large at a research university are better known and in a more competitive situation.” This, he says, leads to a more select pool of professors, who are highly paid for the institution they represent.

Alex Greco, a third year Political Science student at UofT thinks that the high salaries are qualified by the education level he receives. “It hasn’t been perfect [though],” he adds. “I’ve had the odd professor […] especially those on tenure who like to [just talk] when lecturing, don’t care how students progress […] and only care about the research.”

Turk does not think there is a particular relation between high salaries and better professors. “It’s not that they are better or worse [at other universities] it is just a [matter of] prestige which equals more competition in general.” He added that professors at many universities could be just as good.

Aled Edwards, a UofT Professor at the Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, agrees that salaries will be higher in an institution that ranks so highly in Canada. UofT, he says, attempts to put together a dream team. To recruit the best, salaries are a big incentive.

However, Edwards thinks that a simpler explanation for the salary levels is that Toronto is one of the most expensive cities in Canada to live in.

The StatsCan report, conducted by the federal agency’s Centre for Education Statistics, did not include the salaries of contract staff in its report.

Hiwot Telaye, a first year UofT economics student thinks contract staff should have been considered for a more accurate portrayal of the allocation of salaries. She finds her TAs much more approachable, adding that “If we could get the chance to build similar relationships with our professors we would get so much more out of our degrees than just the one way information transfer we get now.”

Turk thinks it is important to recognize that universities will also want to lower costs and cheapen labour and therefore poorly pay contract staff.

The report states that many factors can influence salaries, including qualifications and number of years teaching.

University of Toronto faculty with the highest salaries

1. Roger Martin – Dean of the Rotman School of Management, $388,335

2. Catharine Isobel Whiteside – Professor of Medicine, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, $381,876.96

3. David Naylor – President of the University of Toronto, $380,100

4. Glen Whyte – Professor of Organizational Behavior, $368,265.96

5. Peter Pauly – Vice Dean of Research and Academic Resources, $362,886.90

6. Janice Stein – Professor of Political Science, Director of the School of Global Affairs, Professor of Conflict Management and Negotiation, $360,417.54

7. Aled Edwards – CEO Structural Genomics Consortium, Professor of the Banting and Best Department for Medical Research, $359,140.34

8. Richard Florida – Professor of Business Economics and Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute, $352,102.98

9. Cristina Amon – Professor and Dean of Applied Science and Engineering, $345,206.04

10. David Palmer – Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer, $339,191

Source: Ontario Ministry of Finance Public Sector Salary Disclosure 2010