Value for money

February 5, 2009

Sally Hunt's analysis of the salary of the vice-chancellor of the University of Southampton is confused and incomplete (Letters, 29 January). She seeks to compare a potential future increase in pay across all of higher education, which surely must reflect the difficult economic climate, with the amount that one individual has received in the past. A fuller picture would show that Bill Wakeham's pensionable salary rose by 4 per cent in 2006 and 3 per cent in 2007. In 2008, he declined to take any increase. This compares with an average rise for all staff at Southampton of 23.52 per cent over the same period.

We on the university council take the view that outstanding performance should, if possible, be afforded tangible recognition. Under Wakeham's leadership, Southampton has made great strides in the quality of its teaching and research while maintaining financial stability. The university council has seen fit to reward his achievements with what the commercial world would regard as modest bonuses. For the year ended 31 July 2008, Wakeham received total remuneration of £240,000. In the FTSE-100 company for which I used to work, the chief executive received total remuneration of £2,576,000 in 2008.

I have no doubt that the head of this academic institution gives us great value.

Alan Walker, Treasurer, University of Southampton.

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