Amit Chakma is the reigning Prez of The University of Western Ontario (which he induced people to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to rename as "Western"). He is clearly not the person who should be leading a major post-secondary education institution.
I really doubt that he has done anything illegal.
However, his so-called "leadership" has been incompetent, as has that of his administration.
In addition to the renaming farcical exercise, he has irritated numerous alumni, faculty members, students, and fellow administrators by having negotiated, and followed through with, a contract whereby he could draw double pay in lieu of taking an administrative leave. It turns out he did something pretty similar before coming to UWO.
As much as jaws dropped when people learned Western University paid its president nearly a million bucks last year, it wasn’t even his biggest pay day.
In 2009, Amit Chakma moved to London from the University of Waterloo, where he’d been a vice-president, and raked in $972,440 in salary and benefits, $5,000 more than last year’s total.
He did so by cashing in an unused academic sabbatical at Waterloo, raising the ire of some faculty. [EE: I haven't heard of faculty members being able to cash in unused sabbatical leaves when they change institutions. This is indeed rare.]
“There was quite a bit of alarm expressed by UW faculty over this, since if (a regular) faculty (member) resigns, they never receive anything for any unused sabbatical credit,” a retired faculty member recalled in an e-mail Wednesday to The Free Press.
Chakma was paid more than $741,000 by Waterloo in 2009 and another $229,000 in pay and benefits after his move to London. He became Western’s president in July that year.
Both he and the people who hired him need to leave UWO. As it is, his presence as prez will detract from what the university needs to be doing and will seriously hamper fund-raising efforts by the university.
Even before all these shenanigans came to light, people were raising questions about his presidency.
A person whom I respect and whose information I tend to trust told me the other day that a major donor decided not to make a massive donation to UWO. In announcing the decision, the donor raked the UWO admins over the coals and said UWO would not get a nickel of donations so long as Chakma was the prez.
He clearly has to go. Buy him off and send him away.
At the same time, get rid of the people on the Board of Governors who hired him and who (amazingly) renewed his contract. The sooner they are gone, the sooner UWO can get on with higher education.
I am so disappointed.