V-cs' 7.9% pay rise is twice that of staff's

February 23, 2007

Survey shows salaries of university heads rose by an average of £12,000 in one year, Anthea Lipsett writes.

The salaries of university chiefs rose by more than twice that of academic staff in 2005-06, according to The Times Higher ‘s exclusive annual vice-chancellors’ pay survey.

Vice-chancellors earned an average of 7.9 per cent more in 2005-06 than in 2004-05, according to an analysis of official figures for vice-chancellor pay published by universities. In the same period, academic salaries rose by just 3 per cent. Between 2004-05 and 2005-06, the average pay packet - including benefits but excluding employer pension contributions - for vice-chancellors grew by £12,044, from £153,061 to £165,105.

The highest earner was Laura Tyson, former director of the London Business School at £322,000. The next best paid was Sir Richard Sykes, rector of Imperial College London, who received £290,000, followed by Michael Sterling of Birmingham University, £250,000.

Vice-chancellors of Russell Group institutions earned the highest salaries, averaging £217,9 in 2005-06, a rise of 8.2 per cent. Heads of institutions in the Campaigning for Mainstream Universities group earned Pounds 167,595 on average, up by 7.9 per cent; while leaders of 1994 Group institutions earned £177,651 on average, up 6.7 per cent.

Those in charge of institutions in the Alliance of Non-Aligned Universities received £180,226 on average, a rise of 7.3 per cent.

The survey also reveals huge pension contributions made to some vice-chancellors, either as one-off or retirement payments.

The University and College Union, whose dispute last summer secured a 10.4 per cent pay increase over the years 2006 to 2008, condemned the rises.

Sally Hunt, the UCU’s joint general secretary, said now was a time for unity between management and staff to defend academic values and secure better funding.

But she said: “The handsome rewards for those at the top threaten this vital unity and send exactly the wrong message to university staff.”

Universities UK said most university staff had enjoyed percentage rises close to vice-chancellor levels after transfer to new pay and grading structures.

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