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2018年3月 9日 (金)

week of controversy about excessive

Sussex University head paid £230,000 'golden handshake' - report
The vice-chancellor of Sussex University is reported to have received a £230,000 “golden handshake” when he left the institution in August last year, the latest revelation in a week of controversy about excessive payoffs and rising salaries for higher education chiefs.
Michael Farthing, who was head of the university for nine years, was received the payout “in lieu of notice” upon his departure, according to Times Higher Education. His salary was not disclosed, but Adam Ticknell, his successor was paid £293,000, a fee that included £17,000 to relocate from Birmingham and £9,000 for his pension. The research-based institution paid £545,000 to two senior staff members this year.
Spiralling pay for top university officials is currently in the spotlight at at time when pay for teaching staff had flatlined or increased only modestly. Students meantime continue to pay £9,000 fees plus interest payments, and anger has led to greater scrutiny on the sector.
It was reported this week that Bath Spa University paid Christina Slade £808,000 in her final year as vice-chancellor before she was appointed emeritus professor in what is thought to be the highest payment made in the sector to date.
She was paid a salary of £250,000, plus £429,000 as “compensation for loss of office”, £89,000 in pension contributions, a housing allowance of £20,000 and £20,000 for “other benefits in kind”.
Dame Glynis Breakwell, the vice-chancellor of nearby Bath University, stepped down last week after an outcry over her £468,000 pay package, Southampton University was forced to defend paying its vice-chancellor £423,000, and academics at Birmingham University protested against the £2.9m paid its vice-chancellor, Sir David Eastwood.
More than 160 academics signed an open letter about Eastwood’s pay that read: “This is on top of the highly desirable university-funded residence provided for him on campus, and his university-funded chauffeur-driven car.”
The row at Southampton was aggravated by the revelation that its vice-chancellor, Sir Christopher Snowden, sat on the renumeration committee that approves pay packages.
“Vice-chancellors must be removed from the committees setting their pay and signing off their perks,” said Sally Hunt, the general secretary of the University and College Union, in comments made to the Times.
“They must publish full minutes of those meeting and staff and students must be given a seat at those tables to properly scrutinise these deals.
“With further excessive pay revelations likely to follow, it is time universities stopped simply trying to defend the system and accept there must be radical change.”
Andrew Adonis, the former Labour education minister who has campaigned on the issue, has described remuneration at Sussex as a scandal.
In the House of Lords, where he sits as a non-affiliated peer, he said: “Our universities are wracked by controversy over sky-high student fees and debts, run by vice-chancellors who have become latter day prince bishops paid up to £500,000 a year, and likening themselves to [Diego] Maradona and Richard Branson.
“There should now be an independent inquiry and a salary and pay-off cap of no more than £200,000,” he said.
Sussex University defended the arrangement and said it was transparent about staff pay.
“The university’s approach to senior staff remuneration continues to be open and transparent, and we take our governance responsibilities and sector compliance requirements very seriously,” said a spokesperson.
“In the case of our former vice-chancellor, we met our contractual obligations to him and this has been clearly published in our annual financial accounts.”
The universities minister, Jo Johnson, has promised “greater restraint in setting top salaries.” He said excessive pay for university heads would be brought under control by new regulations next year.
He said he was “absolutely convinced” that a new regulator, the Office for Students, will deal with pay concerns.

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