Rank and rile

April 30, 2009

I feel sure that the purpose of your very detailed report on vice-chancellors' pay ("Pay packets of excellence", 19 March) is to provide useful information on a comparative basis. The means you employ to do this is by way of a league table ranking institutions by the size of the salary paid. As others make use of this information, it is critical for it to be accurate.

The league table states that Peter John, vice-chancellor of Thames Valley University, was paid £291,000, placing him eighth, whereas the university's published accounts make it clear that he was paid £213,000, leaving him in 51st place.

John was appointed in 2007 and there was a period of overlap with Geoff Crispin, the retiring vice-chancellor. At the very least a notation should have been applied to the reported figure of £291,000, making the reality of an overlap clear to readers.

Dino Adriano, chairman of governors, Thames Valley University.

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