Vice-Chancellor’s Pay 7.5 times Greater Than the Average University of Southampton Salary


A recent report published by the University College Union (UCU) found that former Vice-Chancellor, Don Nutbeam, received a salary that was 7.5 times higher than the average salary offered to staff at the University.

His basic income was £320,000 (for 2013/14), which ranked 23rd in the UK. The average salary offered across the whole university was £42,666.66.

Across all UK Universities, the average salary for a Vice-Chancellor is £260,290, 6.4 times the average salary of a University worker.

The report, based on an Freedom of Information request that was sent on behalf of the UCU to 155 Higher-Education Institutions in 2014, requested details on aspects including the salary of the Vice-Chancellor, the associated expenses of his or her office and the number of senior staff earning over £100,000 per year. Seven Universities, including the University of Southampton, did not respond to this FOI request at all. Therefore unfortunately Wessex Scene have no detail regarding personal, travel or hotel expenses nor the proportion of time spent in business-class or first-class travel.

When contacted by Wessex Scene regarding the lack of response to the Freedom of Information request, the University of Southampton replied as follows:

The University of Southampton provides publicly available information about the Vice-Chancellor’s remuneration on our website. Figures are updated annually with further links to this institution’s financial statements.

With reference to the specific reference to an FOI [Freedom of Infomation] request from UCU, information was prepared, but through a regrettable oversight was not communicated within the given timescale. This was addressed at a later date but that information was not included in the UCU report. Again, following on from the paragraph above, we would emphasise that the freely available information published on our website demonstrates a commitment to being open and transparent with regard to financial information relating to the position of Vice-Chancellor.

The University’s published financial records for the year 2013/14 have provided us with details on the Vice-Chancellor’s salary (which exhibited a 4.4% decrease when compared to the previous academic year), and other salaries at the University. The report also provided a useful comparison between the University of Southampton and the UK average, with Nutbeam’s basic salary being nearly £60,000 per year greater that the UK average for HEIs [Higher Education Institutes], which stands at £260,290.

The University of Southampton also released a statement regarding the salary of Don Nutbeam, the Vice-Chancellor.

The UCU document quotes the Vice-Chancellor’s salary at £320,000. In the financial year that ended 31 July 2014, the Vice-Chancellor’s total salary was £280,000, of which £30,875 was a one-off non-pensionable performance payment. In addition to his Salary, the University’s employer’s pension contributions to Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited (USS) amounted to £39,615. We believe this explains UCU’s reference to his salary being £320,000 [sic].

The number of staff members at the University of Southampton who were on a basic salary of over £100,000 came to 120, well above the UK average of 37. This ranked the University 14th in the UK, albeit well below the 429 employed by UCL.

The HEI which provided the highest salary for a Vice-Chancellor outside of any special circumstances (such as retirement) was the University of Oxford, where Professor Andrew Hamilton earned a basic salary of £442,000. With special circumstances included, Nottingham Trent University’s retiring Vice-Chancellor, Professor Neil Gorman, received an astonishing £623,000 salary and benefits package, a whopping 70% increase on the previous year.




Deputy Editor of the Wessex Scene for 2015/16. I often write News, Politics and Opinion pieces. As well as writing for the Scene I can be found in the Surge Radio studio, where I am the Head of News. Also, as I'm new to twitter and desperate, follow me!! @95moliver

Discussion2 Comments

  1. avatar

    The Vice-Chancellor is effectively the CEO of a £500,000,000 company that if listed would be in the FTSE250. His salary, when you bear that in mind is not much at all.

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