Fat cats or in it together? Vice Chancellors’ salaries in the recession – update

Since my initial post last week on this topic, the University of Huddersfield has posted its annual accounts on its website. During the recession, based on comparisons between 2007-8 and 2011-12, the Vice-Chancellor’s salary at Huddersfield rose by 6.2%. This is well below the rate of inflation, and more or less half the average for all VCs in Yorkshire, which now stands at 12.7%.

Another way of looking at senior salaries is to count the number of staff paid £100,000 a year or more (not counting the VC). Across Yorkshire, the number of university staff at this level rose from 242 to 268 people, but at Huddersfield the number of highly-paid staff fell by one person. By contrast, the number at York rose from 11 to 30, probably due mainly to the growth of the medical school (the presence of a medical school always transforms senior university salary levels).

In a future post I will publish comparable figures for Scotland (where several universities have still not published their accounts for 2011-12); I will also update the Yorkshire analysis when I finally see the outstanding set of accounts. 

Meanwhile, this update confirms the general tendency during the recession for most Yorkshire university leaders to enjoy relatively modest salary rises, or even accept a small drop. The exceptions remain the VCs for Leeds Trinity (a rise of 26.7%, but from a relatively low base) and Sheffield (a stonking 36.5%).


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