Published On: Thu, Dec 7th, 2017

'Greedy' £800,000 'golden goodbye' to university Vice Chancellor despite losing millions

Christina Slade was given the large payment for stepping down from her role at the top of Bath Spa University, which represents more than triple her annual £250,000 salary.

The university would not reveal why she left her job or why she was paid so much.

However, she steps down after a catalogue of problems at the learning institute.

According to Company’s House, under Professor Slade’s leadership Bath Spa lost about £1.4million in the three years leading up to July 2016.

Sally Hunt, General Secretary of the University and College Union, criticised the “golden goodbye” payment and the secrecy surrounding it.

She said: “We are seeing what happens when decisions are taken in secret without proper checks and balances. This simply cannot be allowed to continue.”

Speaking to the Mail she added: “We need an urgent overhaul of how senior pay and perks are determined, and how our universities are governed.

“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.

“Defending their own massive rises while pleading poverty when it comes to staff pay and pensions only makes them look out of touch and greedy.”

Criticism about her payoff comes on the back of scrutiny about the pay of Vice Chancellors across the country.

Southampton University’s Vice Chancellor Sir Christopher Snowden is paid £424,000 a year and Bath University’s Dame Glynis Breakwell, the highest paid university leader, is paid £468,000 per annum.

Many students across the country are charged £9,000 a year in tuition fees and the high rate of Vice Chancellors’ pay has led to suggestions that money paid by those studying is subsidising the expensive salaries.

Many university heads are also paid considerably more than the Prime Minister who receives £150,402 per annum.

The universities minister, Jo Johnson, has previously condemned the excessive pay of those heading up higher education institutions.

In a speech, in September he said: “Exceptional pay can only be justified by exceptional performance, which is why I will ask the new Office for Students to take action to ensure value for money and transparency for students and the taxpayer.”

Referring to the money given to Bath Spa Vice Chancellor, a spokesman for the institution said: “Professor Slade stood down as vice chancellor after more than five years of service.

“Relevant Higher Education Funding Council for England guidance was taken into account and legal advice, based on this guidance, obtained.

“The vice-chancellor’s salary is determined by the university’s remuneration committee.”

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