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|Posted: Thu May 19, 2016 6:04 pm Post subject: Times Higher Education pay survey 2016
|Vice-chancellors have again come in for flak over what they are paid. We look at how their compensation packages compare with those of their international peers. Jack Grove runs the numbers.
Anger over pay rises awarded to the so-called academic “fat cats” leading UK universities has bubbled up once again in recent months.
The bumper salary hikes enjoyed by some vice-chancellors were inevitably invoked by the University and College Union as it called a two-day strike over an “insulting” 1.1 per cent pay offer to rank-and-file staff for 2016‑17. Meanwhile, last November, the Daily Mail dedicated its front page to an exposé of what it termed the “shameless greed” and “exorbitant pay packages” of higher education’s top brass.
Even ministers have got in on the act. In the annual grant letter sent in March to the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the business secretary, Sajid Javid, and the minister for universities and science, Jo Johnson, said that they were “concerned about the upward drift in salaries of some top management” and they called for “much greater restraint”.
Almost one in five universities in this year’s Times Higher Education pay survey – the most comprehensive round-up of executive compensation in the sector – paid their leaders 10 per cent more in 2014‑15 than they did in the previous year. Overall, at roughly two-thirds of UK higher education institutions – 98 of the 159 surveyed by the accountancy firm Grant Thornton – the cost of the vice-chancellor’s office rose by more than the 2 per cent national increase handed to rank-and-file staff that year.
The average salary and benefits package paid to university heads rose by £14,595 to £252,745 in 2014-15, a rise of 6.1 per cent. When pension contributions are included, average remuneration was £274,405, which is 5.4 per cent higher than in 2013‑14. The median total payout was £268,500.
One of the highest increases last year went to Anne Carlisle, vice-chancellor of Falmouth University, which, with about 4,200 students, is one of the country’s smallest universities. Her overall remuneration rose by £57,391 to £285,900 in 2014-15, a 25.1 per cent rise, which takes her pay close to that of those running much larger and more prestigious institutions. For instance, it was more than the £271,000 paid to Sir Timothy O’Shea, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Edinburgh (which has 35,500 students), and close to the total remuneration of £296,000 paid to Dame Nancy Rothwell, vice-chancellor of the University of Manchester (which has 38,600 students).
Top 10 UK vice-chancellors by total remuneration
Institution Incumbent v-c Total cost of office 2014-15 (£)
1 Durham University C. Higgins/R. Hudson 593,000
2 Middlesex University M. Driscoll/T. Blackman 591,000
3 University of Salford M. Hall/H. Marshall 516,000
4 Glyndwr University M. Scott/G. Upton 490,983
5 University of Oxford A. Hamilton 462,000
6 Plymouth University W. Purcell/D. Coslett 459,667
7 King’s College London E. Byrne 458,000
8 London Business School A. Likierman 431,000
9 Imperial College London K. O’Nions/A. Gast 430,000
10 University of Birmingham D. Eastwood 416,000
Well, any fat cat here can compete with the super-fats?