7.1% pay rise for London university heads

  • Most staff only offered increase of 1%

  • LSE’s director now on £421k a year

London university heads received an average pay rise of 7.1% last year, dwarfing the 1% pay increase offered to most university staff, figures reveal.

Numbers compiled by the University and College Union (UCU) show that nationally the average pay rise for university chiefs from 2011/12 to 2012/13 was 2% less, at 5.1%.

Professor Craig Calhoun, director of the London School of Economics (LSE), received £421,000 last year, which includes £88,000 for relocation costs and £9,000 in other benefits. It represents a 55.9% increase on his predecessor’s salary of £270,000 the year before.

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 13.54.22LSE was just one of 17 London universities that gave its head a pay increase, all of which were higher than that offered to most university staff.

After Calhoun, the next highest-paid university bosses are those at the London Business School, Imperial College, City University and University College London (UCL), who now receive salaries of £348,000, £330,000, £323,000 and £315,000 respectively.

Since the figures do not include the pension contributions awarded to university heads, it is likely that they underestimate their full pay packages.

Times Higher Education pointed out that one of those who received a better deal last year was Professor Sir Malcolm Grant, the former UCL provost, who received a £41,077 increase in his pay and pensions package, even though he spent just three days a week at the university after becoming chair of NHS England.

A UCL spokesperson told the magazine that Sir Malcolm had voluntarily taken a 10% pay cut in 2010 and added that his £65,000 NHS salary was given to the university.

At the Institute of Education, King’s College London, St. George’s and London Metropolitan University, salaries for heads remained the same.

Only three London institution heads – those of Queen Mary, London South Bank University and the Institute of Cancer Research – took a pay cut last year.

All 24 of the London university chiefs earned more than the prime minister, whose 2013 salary was £142,500.

Sally Hunt, UCU general secretary, said: “This analysis shows that far too many vice-chancellors are happy to line their own pockets while pleading poverty to their staff.”

“Vice-chancellors need to stop hiding behind shadowy remuneration committees and print the minutes of those meetings detailing what exactly they did to deserve such handsome rises. They also need to explain to staff why they deserve to be paid so much more than the people doing the teaching, research, admin and many roles that keep our universities ticking over.”

Responding to questions about Calhoun’s salary, an LSE spokesperson said: “Recruitment of LSE’s new director was overseen by a selection committee tasked with attracting a high calibre international candidate able to take on the challenging and wide-ranging responsibilities required of LSE’s director.”

“The selection committee considered a number of issues to ensure that salary was appropriate, including comparative university salaries.”

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