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Elizabeth Cannon top earner on U of C’s 2016 Sunshine List

By Sean Willett and Jason Herring, July 21 2017 —

The University of Calgary has released its latest “Sunshine List,” which details all U of C employees who earned more than $126,375 in 2016.

This is the second year that Alberta post-secondary institutions have been mandated to disclose staff compensation under the provincial government’s Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act. The act requires the province’s public sector institutions to publish the names and salaries of employees passing the $126,375 threshold by June 30.

“The University of Calgary is committed to transparency and has complied with provincial legislation to disclose compensation for employees receiving $126,375 or more as outlined in the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act,” said the University of Calgary in an email statement.

The U of C’s Sunshine List is publically available on the university’s website. Here’s how it stacks up against last year’s list:


Elizabeth Cannon is now the highest paid employee at the U of C


Last year’s Sunshine List revealed that U of C president Elizabeth Cannon was not the school’s highest paid employee, with the honour instead going to Schulich School of Engineering professor Steven Bryant. This year, however, Cannon is on top. Her cash compensation in 2016 was $596,016, up from $592,617 in 2015.

Bryant has fallen to fourth on the list, with a cash compensation of $386,515 in 2016. This is down from last year’s total of $705,867. The U of C’s provost and vice-president academic Dru Marshall moved to second place, with a cash compensation of $432,122.

The Sunshine List does not include a complete listing of non-cash benefits received by executives, which are instead detailed in the U of C’s consolidated financial statements. Cannon received $301,000 in non-cash benefits during 2016, bringing her total compensation to $897,000. Similarly, Marshall received $132,000 in non-cash benefits, making her total compensation $569,000.


More U of C employees passed the Sunshine List threshold than last year

The number of U of C employees that passed the Sunshine List threshold has increased from 2015 to 2016, going from 1,010 to 1,054. With over 5,000 full-time staff at the U of C, this is roughly a fifth of the university’s employees.

Other Alberta post-secondary institutions also saw their Sunshine Lists grow longer in 2016. The University of Alberta — the school with the most staff passing the threshold — went from 1,505 to 1,699.


The gender gap is now slightly wider

Last year, only 22 of the U of C’s 100 highest earners were women. This year, that number has decreased to 21.

Of these women, eight work in administration and four are deans. Of the school’s female professors in the top 100, two are from the Cumming School of Medicine and two are from the Haskayne School of Business. The faculties of science, engineering, nursing, arts and education each have one female professor listed.

There are no women in the faculties of veterinary medicine, public policy or law that made the top 100. 


Medicine, business and administration still dominate

Of the top 100 highest earners at the U of C, 23 are from the Cumming School of Medicine and related field, 19 are from administration and 18 are from the Haskayne School of Business. Hotchkiss Brain Institute director Samuel Weiss continues to be the highest paid employee in medicine, with a total cash compensation of $417,947 in 2016.

The remaining 40 employees in the top 100 are spread more evenly among the other faculties, though engineering and science stand out with nine faculty members each. The faculty of law has the lowest representation in the top 100, with only one professor making the cut.


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