B.C. post secondary presidents expense $2.4 million, 25 presidents spent more than $1 million on airfare

THE Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) released a Screwed U Dean’s List of Waste on Monday, after collecting 25 Freedom of Information requests showing B.C.’s university and college presidents charged taxpayers for nearly $1.1 million in airfare, $436,954 in hotel rooms and $200,854 in meals for fiscal years 2012-13 and 2013-14.

The Screwed U Dean’s List of Waste includes examples of numerous overpriced airfares (likely first class), paid trips for spouses, expense reports without destinations listed, thousands in tickets to hear Hillary Clinton speak, fancy hotel stays, thousands in airfares between Vancouver and Kamloops, thousands in airfares between Vancouver and Victoria, cash advances, and a $9,600 trip to Harvard for a seminar.

“The amount of money spent by these presidents with little oversight is staggering,” said CTF B.C. Director Jordan Bateman. “The next time you hear a post secondary institution cry poor, tell them to look at their expenses first.”

The president of the University of B.C. alone spent a quarter million dollars on airfare, taking high-priced trips all around the world.

“That’s a U2 rock and roll tour, not a schedule that should be paid by taxpayers,” said Bateman.

The CTF is calling on Minister of Advanced Education Amrik Virk to order post secondary presidents and executives to post full, detailed expenses reports every quarter.

“Sunshine is the best disinfectant,” said Bateman. “When expenses are shrouded in mystery and lump sums, there is less conscious thought about whether a $10,000 airfare or $500 hotel room is really worth it to taxpayers. We need government to shine a light on this spending, so these presidents can be held accountable.”


Screwed U Dean’s List of Waste

  • BCIT president spent $3,341.40 for 12 tickets to Hillary Clinton speech.
  • Camosun president charged Air Canada airfares of $2,944.90, $2,899.36, and $2,044.82 with no destinations listed on expense reports.
  • Capilano president charged $594.80 for TicketsTonight.ca in November 2013. No event description was given.
  • College of the Rockies presidents charged more than $4,000 for airfare three times and more than $2,000 for hotels twice – with no destinations listed on expense form.
  • Douglas president made five trips to China (airfares of $6,695.26, $4,365.61, $4,297.91, $4,222.31 and $3,893.74), plus a trip to India (airfare $7,448.45).
  • Kwantlen presidents took trips to China (airfare $7,075.71) and Brazil (airfare $6,558.66 – plus a “change fee” of $1,762.84).
  • North Island president charged $20,000 in relocation expenses in 2013.
  • Northern Lights president charged $2,000+ in hotel expenses three times, but the expense reports lack any detail on what those were for.
  • Northwest president billed for airfares of $5,504.46, $3,885.71, $2,965.53, $2,925.40, $2,227.46 and $2,189.04 with no details on destinations.
  • Okanagan president charged $6,516 for airfare in June 2013 with no destination explanation listed.
  • Royal Roads president took six trips to China (airfares of $9,197.86, $5,242.37, $5,025.64, $4,708.93, $4,635.28 and $4,415.90); and trips to Brazil (airfare $8,142.56), Taiwan (airfare $5,231.96) and Bahrain (airfare $6,533.20).
  • Simon Fraser University president flew to Ottawa (airfares of $2,860.41, $2,468.96, $2,436.81 and $2,400.27), Seattle (airfare $998.71), India (airfare $7,541.75), Chile (airfare $7,437.79), Britain (airfare $4,816.09), Brussels (airfare $5,159.61), China (airfare $5,758.15), Montreal (airfare $2,010.35), Europe (airfare $5,653.91), and Israel (airfare $5,344.93).
  • Thompson Rivers president spent $11,898.89 on airfare to Austria, $9,342.85 on airfare to China, and thousands in airfares from Kamloops to Vancouver.
  • University of B.C. president spent more than a quarter of a million dollars just in airfare:

o   Hong Kong/Berlin/Paris ($21,987.35)
o   London/Hong Kong/Chongqing ($17,960.93)
o   Ottawa/Delhi ($14,926.77)
o   London/Lund ($14,001.44)
o   Seoul/Montreal/New York ($13,552.82)
o   Toronto/Brazil/Ottawa ($12,079.94)
o   Toronto/Ottawa/Edinburgh/London ($11,785.27)
o   Montreal/Ottawa/Toronto/India ($10,572.16)
o   Toronto/Ottawa/London/Beijing ($9,407.54)
o   Quebec City/China/Shanghai/Hong Kong ($9,216.70)
o   San Francisco/Toronto ($6,129.30)
o   Switzerland ($5,846.52)
o   Ottawa/Calgary ($5,758.72 and $4,974.40)
o   Los Angeles/Ottawa/Montreal ($4,485.86)
o   Ottawa/Toronto ($4,392.12 and $3,792.13)
o   Kelowna/Banff/Ottawa/Montreal ($3,980.84)
o   Toronto/New York ($3,841.03)
o   Toronto ($3,650.61, $3,638.29, $3,205.78, $2,157.65 and $2,157.65)

  • University of Northern B.C. president spent $2,181.02 to fly to Vancouver, $9,854.02 to fly to Russia, and $5,342.61 to fly to Iceland and Boston. He also charged expenses, including airfare, for his wife on nine separate trips.
  • In June 2012, University of Northern B.C. president charged $26,542.65 for airfare for he and his wife to Greenland and Hong Kong. The total trip cost $31,536.56.
  • University of Victoria president spent $21,825.80 on a trip to China, and $14,379.51 on a trip to India. Spouse accompanied the president on both trips.
  • University of Victoria president spent $9,686.61 to attend to a Harvard seminar in July 2013.
  • Vancouver Island University president charged $9,458.80 in 15 transactions at the Westwood Tennis Club, and several large charges for airfare and luxury hotels, but expense reports lack details on what they were for.
  • Vancouver Island University president took $1,042.34 in cash advances – something unreported by any other president.

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