Ex-Bath Spa University vice-chancellor gets final year £429k payout

The biggest ever vice Chancellor “golden goodbye” has been paid out by Bath Spa University
Credit
Christopher Jones

The biggest ever vice Chancellor “golden goodbye” has been paid out by Bath Spa University Credit Christopher Jones

A university vice-chancellor received more than £800,000 in her final year in post, it has been revealed.

Bath Spa University shelled out a £429,000 golden goodbye plus a £250,000 salary to retiring Aussie Professor Christina Slade, 64.

The University and College Union (UCU) has required an "earnest redesign" of senior pay at British colleges.

The media theory academic also received £20,000 in housing allowance, another £20,000 in benefits-in-kind and £89,000 in pension contributions.

Despite the increasingly worldwide profile of United Kingdom universities and the growing demands of Brexit in the higher education sector, many academic staff at institutions around the country remain unconvinced that the highest-paid executives are good value for money.

Altogether, she got a compensation bundle, including advantages and annuities, worth £808,000.

She said that the vice-chancellor's salary was decided by a pay committee, which did not include the vice-chancellor or staff.

A spokeswoman for Bath Spa University, which had 7,300 students this year, said the university had paid Prof Slade "a sum which reflected her contractual and statutory entitlements and was considered to represent value for money".

Bath Spa's pay-off may attract a complaint to a university regulator, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce), as the retirement agreement for the vice chancellor of the University of Bath has already done.

Prof Dame Glynis Breakwell declared she was leaving from the University of Bath after a line over her £468,000 pay. "Clearly, when it comes to senior pay and perks in our universities, many vice-chancellors and senior staff look like they are living on a different planet".

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said: "This can not be allowed to continue; we need an urgent overhaul of how senior pay and perks are determined, and how our universities are governed".

"We are seeing what happens when choices are taken in mystery without appropriate balanced governance", she included.

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