Borysiewicz’s successor in the role could receive up to £450,000 JJN1

Cambridge’s next Vice-Chancellor could be set for pay rise of up to 38 per cent, Varsity can exclusively reveal.

Reserved minutes acquired by Varsity show that the Remuneration Committee have proposed a salary range of “£400k-£450k” for the next Vice-Chancellor (VC), who is due to take up the position in 2017.

The proposed salary range, which includes a pension, would constitute a pay rise of between 23 and 38 per cent compared to the most recently released figures, which indicated that Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz received a salary of £325,000 in 2014/15.

However, even if the increase came to be at the higher end of the possible range, it would still most likely put Cambridge’s VC’s earnings below his or her counterpart at Oxford, where the then-VC Andrew Hamilton received £462,000 in remuneration in 2014/15. On the other hand, the average pay packet for the Vice-Chancellors of Russell Group universities is smaller, at £297,600 in 2013/14.

The committee minutes note that the proposed salary range is “broad”, and that it is “simply a basis on which to initiate discussions with potential candidates”.

It states that this proposed range was “in effect, a guide rather than a price.” The pay packet is being offered in the hope of attracting high-quality candidates for the position of Vice-Chancellor.

According to the same document, “job satisfaction might be more important to candidates than pay satisfaction”, and that factor “would be taken into account in negotiations and in determining the support which would be made available to the individual concerned”. As such, “remuneration arrangements would not be specified in the job advertisement”.

The proposed salary range was based on remuneration packages for Presidents and Vice-Chancellors “in equivalent institutions in the UK, Australia and the USA”, in order to “reflect the standing of the university” and also “attract a strong field of high quality candidates”.

A university spokesperson said: “An important component of reaching the recommended range for remuneration, including pension, was careful analysis of published data about Vice-Chancellors’ and Presidents’ pay in the US, Australia, and the Russell Group.

“We must compete globally to attract the best qualified candidates. The best person will not come to Cambridge just because of the remuneration package, but understanding the current pay environment internationally is an important factor in recruitment.” They added: “The next Vice-Chancellor will need to provide academic and administrative leadership to the whole university... We are seeking an outstanding individual capable of delivering the university’s mission”.

In February, Varsity reported that Borysiewicz’s bill for flights was four times the national average of £8,560 for VCs, standing at a total of £38,786, following statistics obtained by the University and College Union (UCU).

The figures showed that, in the past five years, vice-chancellors’ salaries have risen by an average of 14 per cent, compared with 5 per cent for other staff. The Vice-Chancellor role carries several other perks, including the use of the Vice-Chancellor’s lodge, which was worth £4.52 million according to a valuation from July 2014.

According to data released in 2013 by the Chronicle of Higher Education, the highest-paid university President in the USA, Robert Zimmer of the University of Chicago, earns $3,358,723 annually (£2,336,828), although 40 per cent of his income was due to deferred compensation.

Surprisingly, Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust was only the 54th-highest paid in the USA, with $899,734 (£625,989) per year in 2011, while the President of Stanford also earned less than $1 million.

The highest-paid VC in the UK in 2014 was Neil Gorman from Nottingham Trent University, who earned £623,000 in 2014: 90 per cent more than Cambridge’s current VC, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, who was not listed in the top 10 earners.

Despite this, Borysiewicz’s current pay packet represents a 43 per cent increase on his predecessor Alison Richard’s salary for 2008/09, £227,000, placing him among the seven highest-paid senior post-holders in the university. 

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