Five years ago, UVic paid out $212.4 million in salaries to its employees. Last year, that had jumped to $253 million - a 19 per cent increase. During that same span, UVic staff benefit costs grew by a third, from $33.7 million in 2007/08 to $44.6 million in 2011/12. In fact, last year, benefit costs grew almost the same amount as the university's shortfall - $4.4 million. One need only look at the top of the university's pay scale to see four clear examples of exorbitant wage growth over the past five years.