Salary Spartacus

September 11, 2014

I was surprised and delighted to see in your article “Bands of gold: salaries by academic rank” (News, 4 September) that, among the group of vice-chancellors and principals, there is at least one person who earns “up to £20,000 a year”. But is this a real person and not some statistical quirk?

If so, out in the real world there must be a heroic figure leading one of our great universities and paying themselves less than they pay their cleaners. You should seek them out and tell their story. I suggest a feature along the lines of your HE & Me column. Suitable questions include: “Have you ever had a eureka moment?” (Possible answer: “Yes, when I first realised that everyone loves a bargain, but the bigger the university, the bigger the bargain they need”) and “What’s your biggest regret?” (Possible answer: “I could have had the Oxford job if only I’d offered to do it for tea and biscuits with the chancellor once a week”).

Ben Atkinson
Hertfordshire

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