Salary points 2

February 12, 2009

Alan Walker (Letters, 5 February) states that the average percentage salary increase of staff at the University of Southampton between 2006 and 2008 was much greater than that seen by its vice-chancellor.

This may be true. However, over the nearly 40-year span of my career, the salary differential between vice-chancellors and the professoriate, for example, has risen substantially to reach the three- to four-fold difference that now exists. This reflects their transition from a position of primus inter pares to chief executive status.

Walker indicates that the annual remuneration of Bill Wakeham, Southampton's vice-chancellor, is less than one tenth of the £2.5 million received in 2008 by the chief executive of the FTSE 100 company for which Walker previously worked. Clearly, there is injustice here. Could not an ambitious university show leadership and give a new meaning to the Million+ think-tank?

Paul Trayhurn, Professor of nutritional biology, University of Liverpool.

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