By Gavin Mackintosh-
The Universities Minister Sam Gyimah has positively owned to regulate the issue of vice-chancellors’ pay, as the row over the value for money major institutions provide for students continues.
Sam Gyimah is planning to execute plans that will see vice-chancellors kicked off remuneration committees, in order to prevent them having a hand in fixing their own pay. The idea that vice-chancellors sit on remuneration committees is worrying, because of the potential for corrupt actions protected by the umbrella of the committee.All well-accomplished bosses deserve good pay, but pay figures that are excessive and manipulated by individuals in privileged positions are bad.
Gyima was speaking to the Commons Education Committee on Tuesday when he criticized the process of pay setting at committees. He said: “What happened before was that vice-chancellors sat on the remuneration committee and they would obviously recuse themselves when their own pay was being discussed.
“They should not be allowed to set their own pay and that’s action on pay, the second thing is that the Office for Students (OFS) has a real focus on top pay within our universities.” Overpayment in vice-chancellor, pay has come under intense scrutiny over the past year, with recent research revealing the average vice-chancellor salary to be £268,103 in salary, bonuses and benefits.
Mr Gyimah said the OFS plans to force universities to publish the number of staff earning a basic salary of more than £100,000 as part of their audited financial statements.
Education institutions could also be compelled to publish full details of total remuneration packages including bonuses, pension contributions and taxable benefits along with the full job title of anyone earning more than £150,000.
He added: “But it’s not just transparency in terms of sharing the numbers – we want to see a justification for the total remuneration package for the head of the provider and the provider’s most senior staff, so they’ve got to explain why that person deserves that pay package.
“If you give someone a bonus of £10,000 you should say explicitly what they delivered to get that £10,000.” That’s very true and despite the top and respectable positions vice chancellors hold, they should justify the pay they earn in relation to the service they provide. Managing a University is not necessarily an easy job, but what vice chancellors contribute to the quality and development of students in their University will vary from one vice-chancellor to another. Gyima is on the right track here in ensuring vice-chancellors do not abuse their position of trust and authority in procuring overpayments for themselves, whilst other hardworking teachers are left in the same financial position as the previous year, and in many cases, the year before that too.