You could buy a lot of avocado toast with Indira Samarasekera’s salary

Despite no longer working at the university, Indira Samarasekera reportedly earns a salary of $544,000 and received just over $1.1 million in compensation. Those are large numbers — so large it can be hard to imagine just what that amount looks like. If I had $544,000 I could buy 54,400 $10 avocado toasts, which, at a […]

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Shay Lewis | Fri Aug 25, 2017

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Despite no longer working at the university, Indira Samarasekera reportedly earns a salary of $544,000 and received just over $1.1 million in compensation. Those are large numbers — so large it can be hard to imagine just what that amount looks like.

If I had $544,000 I could buy 54,400 $10 avocado toasts, which, at a consumption of three per meal and three meals a day amounts to roughly 16.5 years of just eating avocado toasts. I could literally swim in avocado toast and have money left over.

Let’s say you are a bit more responsible than the average millennial university student, and funnelled it all towards large Tim Hortons coffees. That would provide you over 273,366 coffees, which at a standard university student consumption rate of one coffee per hour would be 31 years of coffee. I may as well just bring a tube and hook it up to the coffee machine.

Maybe for some insane reason you wanted to use Indira’s salary to pay for undergraduate tuition. You could afford to pay for 83 years of my tuition or for 20 university students to do full four-year degrees.

There are those who believe that administrators at the head of major organizations deserve to get paid major dollars, and that’s a fair world view. However, when you are paid more in a year than is needed to finance 10 students’ whole degrees, that’s just gratuitous.

Right now there is a growing list of deferred maintenance around campus, there are departments who are being shrunk or entirely defunded due to funding shortages, and student’s tuition is constantly being raised to cover some mystical deficit in the university’s budget. I am of the mind that if we paid our administrators only three-quarters of what we do now, some of those issues could be solved, or at least minimized.

Yet that would require members of the university administration — past and present — to buy maybe one instead of two Ferraris.

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