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Vice chancellor pay

(12 Posts)
grf76 Thu 07-Dec-17 12:07:00

Sorry if I've missed this but I couldn't see a dedicated thread in the academics forum.

What are everyone's thoughts on the VC pay debate which seems to get worse by the day? It's now up to 800k payments!

My thoughts have evolved a bit over time. Originally my thoughts were along the lines of: Our VC is actually quite modestly (in comparison!) paid, and I think they earn it doing a huge amount of work. I'd have more concerns about the next level down who are on very high pay and nearly entirely invisible. Now, it's I can't see justification for 400-800k, especially when there's little to no correlation with size, performance, or any other factor. It's like for MPs: why aren't they on the same 1% pay increase cap as everyone else?

user19283746 Thu 07-Dec-17 14:26:18

(OP from a new poster to this board: is the media on a fishing expedition?)

The opening post includes an exaggeration, because the 800k included one off pay outs.

VC salary is not comparable with that of MPs or ministers. The latter do extra consultancy work even while in office and ministers once out of office earn huge sums of money - just look at George Osborne and David Cameron.

The VC market is international and UK VCs are not highly paid by international standards. VCs are also not highly paid relative to CEOs of companies with thousands of staff.

The whole discussion is a big red herring (a) to neuter VCs from criticising government policy on Brexit and other HE matters and (b) to feed Adonis' ego after he didn't get the job he wanted. (Adonis is BTW the ultimate hypocrite given the salary levels he receives for his own part-time jobs.)

I have significantly more concerns about the whole structure of HE pay and the lack of transparency in very senior professors' pay, than I do specifically about VC pay levels.

grf76 Thu 07-Dec-17 15:47:11

@user19283746 no media, I'm SL in RG uni, just NC regularly in case accidentally say anything outing. Stuck at home with ill DD and thought lack of discussion curious.

I think we agree on the next level down being more serious - particularly I'd say in PSS. In my uni average PSS pay is only 1k pa lower than academics (publicly available figures) despite the very substantial number of grade 3's and 5's who are very poorly paid.

user19283746 Thu 07-Dec-17 16:07:36

My concern with PSS is not just the pay - but also PSS making what should be "academic" decisions without having knowledge or understanding of the academic landscape.

Across the sector, there is an increasing urge to centralise and harmonise - when it is completely apparent to academics that e.g. what works for chemistry may well be inappropriate for history and vice versa.

Many people working in PSS seem to lose track of the fact that the goals of universities are education and research.

grf76 Thu 07-Dec-17 16:53:25

Again agree, although it could turn this thread into "us vs them".

I guess one of the good things about collaborative grants / reviewing them is that "within the system" there is a small level of transparency on what different academics are paid.

user19283746 Thu 07-Dec-17 18:26:17

I don't think it's so much "us versus them": it's more that the leadership of a university (academic and PSS) need to work more closely with front line academics. (And I say that as somebody who is in the first category and continually trying to fight decisions that don't make sense academically.)

Yogafire Thu 07-Dec-17 20:41:22

The VC pay outcry is baffling to me. Yes 400-800k seems excessive but I don't care about them getting lots of money (if competent) and why did the bath vc have to resign? And why now? We've seen the high bbc salaries and bankers' bonuses. There it seems that the 'need to recruit talent / be competitive ' argument washes but not for universities
The real question is the pay gap. Why aren't academics down the chain getting more?
But academics have no allies beyond the field. No one in gov or media is going to stand up and defend academics so it's a free for all and a massive deflection exercise from bigger issues and pay disparities

CleverKnot Fri 08-Dec-17 08:44:20

I can only digest the numbers with respect to the organisation budget.
The info I find online suggests that Bath Spa Uni has annual income of about £21million, so a basic salary of £250,000 is 1% (ish), that seems too high to me.

catlovingdoctor Thu 08-Feb-18 17:54:19

Sorry I think those wages are obscene. Student satisfaction on my first degree was really low- scoring in the 30s for the NSS survey that year- and I just couldn't possibly see how the person in charge of the whole god awful institution deserves even a fraction of some of the salaries quoted above.

user1494149444 Fri 09-Feb-18 15:36:31

It's not just the university sector. Every sector has seen huge pay inflation at the top/senior roles, whereas the everyday workers have seen their pay decrease in relative terms.
But the comparison with banker bonuses is interesting. Essentially bankers were being paid more money (lots more) to hit targets which led to the bankrupting of the financial system. University VCs are encouraged to do something similar - Growth at any cost - with the result that the HE sector increasingly looks like a bubble, and there are plenty of pins around - a drop in student numbers; tuition fee reductions; brexit, etc.
The cause of the problem is government HE policy since John Major.

NotDavidTennant Fri 09-Feb-18 15:48:12

This seems to be happening in every sector. Senior management awarding themselves inflation-busting pay rises year after year, while frontline staff see their pay and conditions falling.

ThereIsNoSuchThingAsRoadTax Wed 28-Feb-18 23:19:42

CleverKnot I'm not going to defend VCs' salaries, but a quick Google found Bath Spa's financial report from 2016. That showed a total income of £75M.

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