The University of Central Lancashire awarded its former chief executive Malcolm McVicar £40,000 in salary and £23,000 in performance-related pay in his final month in post, and lost another £1.2 million on its Cyprus campus last year.
Dr McVicar’s £63,000 package is listed under August 2014 in the university’s 2014-15 accounts.
A Uclan spokesman said the performance-related pay was “based on the effectiveness of his performance in the year 2013-14”. The spokesman said the £40,000 stated as salary “comprises one month’s salary at just under £21,000 and an additional £19,075 paid for consultancy services across the other 11 months of the financial year”.
Uclan’s annual report and financial statements also reveal that its latest annual loss on its Cyprus campus built in the island’s UN buffer zone, one of the overseas projects championed by Dr McVicar, came to £1.2 million in 2014-15.
That followed losses of £1.4 million and £1.7 million in the previous two years.
Additionally for 2014-15, there was an “exceptional charge” of £1.5 million relating to the overseas campuses. Uclan’s spokesman said this was a “prudent approach…relating primarily to the write-down of the value of land held in Cyprus”.
The post of chief executive, beneath which was a vice-chancellor, “is likely to be disestablished and the key elements of the role will be undertaken by the vice-chancellor”, the annual report says.
And Uclan’s international strategy has “changed away from the development of comprehensive overseas campuses”, the report says.
Plans for a Thailand campus were abandoned before building started, but the university wrote down £3.2 million in previous separate accounts after a dispute with the joint venture partner, a Thai businessman.
Dr McVicar was vice-chancellor of Uclan between 1998 and 2013, before becoming chief executive as the institution adopted a new “group structure”.
After Dr McVicar’s retirement, Richard Hext took over as chief executive on 1 September 2014, arriving from a career in shipping, and was paid a salary of £229,000 in 2014-15. He stepped down on 30 September 2015.
Gerry Kelleher, who had served as vice-chancellor under the chief executive, stepped down in March 2015.
Mike Thomas, an ex-submariner and pro vice-chancellor at the University of Chester, is now leading Uclan as vice-chancellor.
Uclan’s spokesman said its accounts “show an institution in a very strong financial position, having successfully increased its operating surplus for the year to £11 million, and with cash balances increased to £109 million”.
He continued on the Cyprus loss: “Whilst this performance is slightly disappointing, it is broadly in line with projected financial performance that would see the campus become operationally profitable in 2018-19.”
He added: “Dr McVicar is no longer an employee or consultant to the university.”