Why Gupta’s Getting Severance for Quitting

It’s in his contract.

Everyone can read it.

Here’s where the golden parachute is outlined.

    In the event that UBC should terminate Dr. Gupta’s appointment as President without cause, and Dr. Gupta should not resign his then position as a Professor as above, then, provided consistency with the Employment Termination Standards referenced in paragraph 2.6, UBC will continue to pay Dr. Gupta his Salary as President and will continue to provide all benefits under the Agreement until the end of the Term, except for those benefits listed under paragraph 4. [living in Norm MacKenzie House -Ed]

If the Board had dismissed Gupta without cause, the university would have had to pay him until the end of his term in 2019. This would have meant about $1.74M in salary, plus surely at least another half million in a variety of insurance, pension and other financial benefits. (see correction at the end of this post) May 2016, or about $350,000. He’d also get a year of leave at the end:


    Subject to paragraph 8.7 [about what happens in the case of a re-appointment, hah! -Ed], and provided he has not:
    (a) been terminated for cause; or
    (b) resigned his appointment as a full Professor within sixty (60) days of being terminated without cause,

    Dr. Gupta will be entitled to a one (1) year leave of absence from his duties as President and Professor (the “Leave of Absence”) in order to support his career renewal and professional development according to a plan of mutual benefit to Dr. Gupta and UBC. Dr. Gupta intends to take the leave at the end of his active service with the University as President. For the period of the leave, UBC will pay Dr. Gupta his salary in effect as President as well as the benefits defined in paragraphs 9.1 and 9.2.

It’s clear that resigning does not disqualify Gupta from receiving this leave of absence (nor does termination without cause, as long as he remains a professor). That’s why he’s now receiving his presidential salary and benefits for one more year as severance. As the saying goes, he’s entitled to his entitlements.

It’s also clear that due to the way the contract was written, and in the absence of the Board being able to justify his termination with cause, this was actually the cheaper option for the university. He’s only getting paid to disappear for 1 year instead of for 4.75 years (3.75 for the remainder of the contract and 1 for the leave of absence)! (see correction at the end of this post) 1.75 years (.75 as per the Employment Termination Standards and 1 for the leave of absence.)

**slow clap**

Just another example of the sterling management of the university’s resources that we’ve all come to expect from this current Board of Governors.

Correction (August 11, 5 pm)

Hubert Lai, UBC University Counsel, has pointed out that this article “misinterpreted Article 2.7 to suggest that Professor Gupta would have received four years of severance had he been dismissed. This is not correct. Article 2.7 is explicitly subject to the Employment Termination Standards, which limits severance to a maximum of 9 month where the employee has served in the position for 12 to 17 months.” This is a drastic failure in wonkery which is regretted deeply.


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  1. This institution is incredibly sick.

    Posted by Peter Wylie | August 13, 2015, 4:11 pm
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