Southampton University corrects statement in vice-chancellor pay row

A college on the coronary heart of a row over its vice-chancellor’s £424,000 wage has admitted that he was a member of the committee which determined his pay.

Southampton clarified that Sir Christopher Snowden was a member of its senior salaries committee when his pay was set, however it insists he “was not current” for discussions on it.

On Friday, the university said the vice-chancellor was not a member of the pay-setting committee amid a pay row.

Lecturers had hit out at his wage.

The College and Faculty Union had highlighted how the vice-chancellor’s pay bundle had risen to £424,000 final yr – in contrast with £352,000 in 2015-16.

The decrease stage had already drawn criticism from universities minister Jo Johnson, who has hit out at excessive charges of pay in greater schooling establishments.

The college defined the additional £72,000 was not a pay rise as such however was as a result of Sir Christopher had solely been in publish for 10 months throughout 2015-16.

The upper pay mirrored the complete yr’s wage for 2016-17 and the nationwide greater schooling pay award of 1.1%, it mentioned.

‘Error in our assertion’

On the identical time, the college confused that Sir Christopher had no function within the remuneration committee which handled the problem.

However an educational on the college, who wished to stay nameless, contacted BBC Information with documentary proof exhibiting the declare to be incorrect.

The college then needed to appropriate its assertion after it was contacted by the BBC Information web site with the publicly obtainable data.

A spokesman for Southampton College mentioned: “There was an error within the wording of our assertion despatched to you on Friday.

“It ought to have learn that the vice-chancellor’s wage was set and commonly reviewed by the college’s independently chaired senior salaries committee (now changed by the college’s independently chaired remuneration committee) which stories to the College Council.

“Beforehand, Sir Christopher *was* a member of the senior salaries committee, however was not current at any level throughout discussions of or voting on his pay.

“The senior salaries committee was not too long ago changed by the remuneration committee – a choice agreed by full council in September 2017.

“On the identical time, phrases of reference for the brand new committee have been agreed, beneath which the VC is now not a member – however he’s invited again for key discussions for points not referring to his pay.”

‘One rule for them’

The unnamed educational acquired in contact as a result of he mentioned he was offended in regards to the pay stage within the context of college tuition charges.

He additionally mentioned: “The college’s ’10-Yr Plan’ contains plans to cut back the wage invoice of educational workers, whereas concurrently rising instructing and analysis high quality.

“Most odd members of the college contemplate these two goals to be contradictory and the 10-Yr Plan to be company nonsense.

“However what we discover frankly insulting is that, with regards to the vice-chancellor’s pay, the other argument is used: we should apparently pay extra to get the highest quality.

“One rule for them; a unique rule for us.”

Sally Hunt, of the College and Faculty Union, mentioned senior pay and the way it’s set had lengthy blighted the college sector and that its analysis confirmed over two-thirds of vice-chancellors sat on the committee that units their pay.

“Whereas most individuals would agree that is flawed and appears suspect, it’s at present the norm, which makes Southampton’s efforts to attempt to obscure the truth that their vice-chancellor was on the committee that units his pay bundle actually unusual.

“For the college to say the vice-chancellor’s pay was set by a committee that did not even exist when his pay was really set will fill nobody with confidence about its governance constructions.”

Ministerial criticism

The college drew criticism from Mr Johnson in the summertime.

He mentioned in a speech: “There may be one establishment on the south coast that has seen vice-chancellor pay rise from £227,000 in 2009-10 to £350,000 to 2015-16, which is absolutely fairly a pointy enhance.”

Southampton defended the pay bundle, saying Sir Christopher was an impressive chief for the college with a lot expertise in enterprise.

“He is among the most skilled vice-chancellors within the sector with a observe file of delivering long-term distinctive outcomes, and he’s a former president of Universities UK.”

The row comes a couple of days after the UK’s highest paid vice-chancellor Dame Prof Glynis Breakwell stepped down.

The College of Tub boss had turn out to be the main target of criticism for her £468,000 wage.

Printed at Mon, 04 Dec 2017 17:01:16 +000zero