Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor was the second-highest paid university boss in Britain last year according to a report produced by The Times.
Professor Andrew Hamilton received a total remuneration package of £434,000 in 2012-13, a 2.36% increase over last year.
A spokesperson for the University and College Union (UCU) slammed Hamilton’s pay, saying: “It is the startling hypocrisy that has infuriated staff this year. At a time when vice-chancellors are forcing down staff pay they have been enjoying considerable pay rises on already vastly superior salaries, as well as a host of perks. The time has come for fair pay in higher education.”
The University Press Office defended Hamilton: “According to last year’s Times Higher World University Rankings, Oxford is the number one university in the UK and number two in the world. It is consistently ranked as one of the two best universities in the UK and among the handful of best universities in the world.”
“Its research output is vast, it has an almost billion-pound-a-year turnover, not including the colleges and the Oxford University Press, and it has great institutional complexity. The Vice-Chancellor’s salary reflects that.”
James Elliot, a Teddy Hall fresher and member of the NUS National Executive Council, argued:”Andrew Hamilton’s pay, more than ten times that of many staff, represents a growing trend in universities of the well-salaried VC who presides over supposedly public bodies that pay their most vital staff such as cleaners, either near or below the living wage, while raking in totally unreasonable and deeply immoral cash sums themselves.
It’s an abhorrent sum for any public official to be receiving, but more grotesque given the poverty wages (below Living Wage) of those who sweep our university’s corridors. University staff have seen their pay cut by 13% in recent years, while Vice-Chancellors took a pay rise of 5% last year alone. “
Elliot urged Hamilton to “implement the Living Wage for all staff, at the very least, or face serious questions about his gratuitously generous pay packet.”
Will Forrest, a Magdalen PPEist, commented “Well, obviously it’s a completely exorbitant sum of money for one person to be sitting on, but then that’s the hopelessly bankrupt system we live in. What does he spend it on anyway?”
He added, “How does he sleep at night? On a pile of money I’ll bet.“
The Times Education Supplement reported that the LSE’s Craig Calhoun was the highest-paid university leader with £466,000 per year. However, £80,000 of that was relocation pay from the United States.
Cambridge vice-chancellor, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, earns £100,000, with a salary of £334,000 per year.