Andrew Oswald relates vice-chancellors' pay (Soapbox, THES , February 7) to that of chief executives in business and industry, where rates can be as high as £500,000 to £1 million a year.
Most people regard such salaries as grossly inflated. The term "industry fat cat" springs to mind.
Universities, however, are not-for-profit organisations, so why compare them to the commercial sector?
A more reasonable comparison might be the prime minister's salary, which is about £172,000 a year, only some £40,000 more than the average v-c's pay cheque. There cannot be many tougher jobs in the non-commercial sector than the prime minister's. Surely no v-c's work and remit exceed that of the government.
Oswald's argument is predicated on acceptance of commercial executives' salaries as reasonable. But to extend that to public-sector salaries would bankrupt the nation.
I suppose we should be grateful that the v-cs displayed continence in limiting their pay rises to an average 6.1 per cent.
Gary F. Baxter