Exeter v-c’s ‘extraordinary’ bonuses worth almost £400K

UK universities face another winter of discontent over vice-chancellors’ remuneration after it emerged that one leader is set to pocket bonuses worth almost £400,000 on top of his £400,000-plus annual pay package, while another received £563,000 last year, including a £242,000 pay-off. Times Higher Education reports.

Sir Steve Smith, vice-chancellor of the University of Exeter, was paid £409,000 in pay and bonuses in 2017-18, as well as receiving £14,000 in benefits, taking his overall remuneration to £423,000, according to the institution’s newly published accounts.

If Sir Steve continues in post until August 2020, he will also receive a “retention payment” of £105,850, the accounts add.

Exeter has also agreed a “post-termination” agreement with the former Universities UK president, under which he will receive another £105,850 if he is “not employed by or provide[s] consulting services to competitor institutions for a period of 12 months following the expiry of his contract” in 2020.

Matt Waddup, the University and College Union’s head of policy and campaigns, criticised the deal, stating that “picking up bonuses of this magnitude after you have left is quite extraordinary”.

“It would appear that universities have learned nothing from the scandals that have been so damaging for the sector in recent years, or they simply don’t care,” he added.

Meanwhile, latest accounts also show that Peter Horrocks, who quit with immediate effect as vice-chancellor of the Open University in April amid a staff revolt over his leadership, received £242,000 in severance pay, in addition to his £321,000 basic salary in 2017-18.

Once benefits, including the £38,000 cost of subsidised accommodation, and his £13,200 legal costs are included, Mr Horrocks’ overall remuneration was £629,200 that year, while another £89,000 in salary and benefits went to his successor Mary Kellett for the final three and a half months of the academic year.

Read more Exeter v-c’s ‘extraordinary’ bonuses worth almost £400K

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