UBC President Benoit-Antoine Bacon’s $515k contract, explained

Benoit-Antoine Bacon became UBC’s 17th president in November 2023 following Santa Ono’s departure to the University of Michigan. Bacon, who was appointed in July 2023, joined UBC from Carleton University.

The full contracts of Bacon's two predecessors, Santa Ono and Arvind Gupta, were publicly published online on the Board of Governors website. However, The Ubyssey had to file a freedom of information request to access Bacon’s contract.

Here’s a breakdown of the contract and how it stacks up against Ono’s.

The dollar figures

In 2016, Ono earned $470,000 annually. Bacon is set to earn $515,000, which falls short of Ono’s initial salary when adjusted to inflation.

This salary can be raised yearly based on performance as long it aligns with UBC’s salary policy and the BC government’s Public Sector Employers Council guidelines.

In 2020/21, the year prior to his departure, Ono's total compensation was $611,712.

The responsibilities

While Gupta and Ono’s contract had differences, highlighted in our previous analysis, the wording of responsibilities in Bacon and Ono’s contracts are identical.

Bacon holds two positions at UBC — president and professor of psychology in the Faculty of Arts.

He will not receive a salary for his professor position unless he no longer holds the presidency. In this situation, Bacon is entitled to receive a salary in the “middle of the top quartile of full professors in the Faculty of Arts, department of psychology, at that time.”

He also receives an annual stipend of $50,000 to support his scholarly research. The contract writes the funding is stackable and cumulative over years. No research funding was included in Ono’s contract.

Like his predecessor, Bacon may serve on the board of other organizations, however it will require “discussion and approval” from the chair of the Board.

The timeline of performance review has also changed slightly, with specific dates being replaced with “within a reasonable amount of time.”

All UBC presidents are appointed for 5 year terms that are renewable once, meaning a person can hold the position for a maximum of 10 years.

In case of resignation, Bacon must give three months written notice to the university. The university also reserves the right to terminate his appointment at any time without cause.

Other benefits

Bacon will take up residence in the Norman MacKenzie House, the official residence of UBC's president. The residence and associated expenses, including housekeeping and property taxes, are fully paid for by the university.

In return, the contract stipulates Bacon must behave “as a prudent owner.” This is a taxable benefit, but Bacon will be reimbursed for any tax liabilities resulting from the house.

The house is renovated around once a decade with the most recent ones being in 2015. The Ubyssey reported the 2005 renovations cost just over $600,000.

Bacon’s relocation expenses from Ottawa to Vancouver were also paid for by the university.

Ono received a car from the university. Bacon will receive a $1,000 a month taxable allowance to be used toward a vehicle of his choice. He is also entitled to expense up to $2,500 annually for financial planning and all expenses related to his position.

Bacon is allowed six weeks of non-cumulative vacation per year.

The list of extended benefits includes disability, life and dental coverage, as well as coverage for spouses and dependants.

Bacon's term will end on October 31, 2028.