Former King's bursar gets payout

July 23, 2004

One of Cambridge University's most prestigious colleges has been forced to pay compensation to a bursar it suspended last year.

King's College has conceded that Roger Salmon "acted with propriety and complete integrity" throughout his time at the college.

In an agreed statement marking the end of a lengthy dispute over his departure, Mr Salmon and the college said: "An agreed resolution has been reached in the dispute.

"The college has made an appropriate payment to Roger in recognition of his departure from his office as first bursar and the damage that has been caused to his reputation." The size of the payment was not disclosed.

Mr Salmon's suspension from King's hit newspaper headlines in November last year. Although the college declined to discuss the matter, newspapers speculated that the departure was linked to news of the college's financial difficulties.

The college, founded by Henry VI in 1441, was reported at the time to have a deficit of more than £1 million.

In October last year, there was a row over plans, since dropped, by the college to raise £100,000 a year by bringing in privately tutored US students. It was proposed that students from Miami University, Ohio, could pay about Pounds 5,000 for tuition at the college. Students condemned the plan as "back-door privatisation".

Financial rescue plans also floated the idea of selling art, including a Rubens thought to be worth £40 million. A student rent rise also prompted a rent strike by students last year.

Mr Salmon, formerly the Government's rail franchise director and a former merchant banker, was said to have clashed with Dame Judith Mayhew, the first female provost of King's, who arrived in October 2003.

In an interview with The Times Higher last February, Dame Judith said the college's financial systems had "huge room for improvement". She said at the time that it was impossible to determine income or expenditure or to track cash flow.

The joint statement says: "While the college acted in good faith, it has accepted that his departure followed professional difference between him and other college officers. These involved certain differences in approach and led to a number of misunderstandings.

"In his four years as bursar, Roger always acted with propriety and complete integrity. Roger showed great energy and commitment in the role and demonstrated many strengths."

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