Female figures that don't add up

January 28, 2000

Diana Green, salary:Pounds 101,000 + Janet Finch, salary: Pounds 93,000 + Alaine Sommerville, salary: Pounds 46,000 = Pounds 240,000. John Quelch's salary = Pounds 252,000

Female vice-chancellors are paid far less than their male counterparts for the same job.

There were just 12 women among the 168 heads of institutions for which The THES collected salary information for 1998-99. The highest paid female vice-chancellor came 68th in the pay rankings and earned less than half the salary of the highest paid. Three of the 12 women were in the seven lowest earning positions.

"It does seem that the endemic discrimination against women goes right to the top. The secretary of state's letter (to the funding councils, which required institutions to implement equal opportunities policies) is underlined by these figures," said Tom Wilson, head of the universities section of lecturer's union Natfhe.

A spokeswoman for the Association of University Teachers said: "For a woman to be appointed vice-chancellor is evidence of her success. For these excellent individuals to then meet discrimination on the basis of their sex, which would appear to be the case, is shocking and utterly reprehensible."

Alexandra Burslem, vice-chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University, one of the largest universities in the United Kingdom, was the highest paid female head of an institution, earning Pounds 109,000. Professor Burslem was appointed on a salary .3 per cent lower than that of her predecessor, Sir Kenneth Green.

Diana Green, vice-chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, was paid 12.3 per cent less than her predecessor, John Stoddart. Her salary of Pounds 101,000 places her 92nd in the rankings.

She said:"I wasn't disappointed by my salary. What is difficult is to hear of unequal pay for equal value work."

Christine King, head of Staffordshire University, earned Pounds 109,000, and Gillian Slater, head of Bournemouth University, earned Pounds 98,000.

Since the end of the financial year, Bernadette Porter has been appointed principal of the Roehampton Institute, the 29th best paid position (although her salary will not be published for another year). Dianne Wilcocks has been appointed head of Ripon and York St John on a pay package that is slightly less than the previous full-time holder of the post, according to a spokeswoman.

Many new male vice-chancellors negotiated salary increases compared with predecessors. The new provost of University College London, Chris Llewellyn Smith, had a salary of Pounds 147,000 - calculated pro rata by The THES - higher than that of his predecessor, Derek Roberts. Professor Llewellyn Smith's pay package has a net worth similar to his previous one as director general of CERN, the European particle physics laboratory in Geneva.

Adrian Smith took over as principal of Queen Mary and Westfield College, London, in September 1998. He earned Pounds 141,000 that year, up 14.6 per cent on his predecessor.

At the London School of Economics, Anthony Giddens's salary was up 15.8 per cent on that of his forerunner, while John Brooks of Wolverhampton University earned 20 per cent more than his predecessor.

Overall, vice-chancellors were awarded an average 4.9 per cent pay rise, following a similar rise the previous year.

Some high-profile figures received much more. Roderick Floud, provost of London Guildhall University and vice-president of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, got a 13.2 per cent pay rise. Martin Harris, who at the time was chairman of the CVCP, got 11.7 per cent.

Gerald Bernbaum, director of South Bank University, derecognised Natfhe and got a 17 per cent pay rise.

"If vice-chancellors had offered a 4.9 per cent deal to their staff, it would at least have shown a willingness to address higher education's problems. The success of higher education is due to all its people and not just its chiefs," said an AUT spokeswoman.

Mr Wilson said: "Vice-chancellors are paid much more than the rest of staff. Who decides what they are paid and what it is based on are kept secret. Staff have the right to know the criteria.

"In general, there does not seem to be rhyme or reason to these pay rises," he added.

Some 480 academics and 94 vice-chancellors boasted six-figure salaries. Many of these were based in London and at institutions with large medical schools.

The number of staff earning more than Pounds 100,000 almost doubled. Imperial College, London, had 62 staff who earned more than Pounds 100,000, King's College London had 44 and the London Business School 39. In total, 34 institutions employed at least one member of staff who earned more than Pounds 100,000.

The number of staff earning more than Pounds 50,000 was up 15 per cent to 5,446. Institutions with large medical schools topped the table: University College London had 334 such staff, followed by King's College London, Imperial College, Manchester, Birmingham, Cambridge and Oxford.

In many instances, staff at the University of Cambridge are better paid than their Oxford counterparts. While both institutions had about 150 staff on salaries of more than Pounds 50,000, Cambridge had 24 on more than Pounds 100,000 compared with Oxford's eight.

Sir Alec Broers, vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge, earned Pounds 122,000. Colin Lucas, vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, received Pounds 90,915 - considerably less than the head of the city's new university, Oxford Brookes, where Graham Upton was paid Pounds 103,000.

At the London Business School, six academics earned more than Pounds 150,000 and a further three received more than Pounds 210,000 from public funds. The previous year, one academic had made more than Pounds 220,000. The salary made the mystery academic the best paid in the UK in 1998.

Please login or register to read this article

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments