Oxford

Oxford bursar criticises vice-chancellor 'excessive' pay

Louise Richardson
Image caption Louise Richardson is paid £350,000 a year as vice-chancellor, the university said

The six figure salary paid to Oxford University's vice-chancellor has been criticised by the bursar of one of its oldest colleges.

David Palfreyman said spending on the senior management team was "grossly excessive" and was not value for money.

Oxford had the "cheapest vice-chancellor in the land" until about 2000, the New College bursar said.

The university said vice-chancellor Louise Richardson's £350,000 pay reflected its world leading status.

Mr Palfreyman made his comments in a letter to the Financial Times after a previous writer suggested pay for top bankers was a cause for more anger and attention.

There was no reason for vice-chancellors to be put on the same "gravy train as top bankers, albeit in a third-class compartment", he said.

The bursar also criticised the "proliferating cadre of costly helpers" who are appointed as pro vice-chancellors and said "few in Oxford would be able to detect any improvement in our governance".

Oxford University confirmed Louise Richardson is paid £350,000 annually, and said the £442,000 figure quoted by the bursar in the Financial Times was incorrect.

The salary reflects Oxford's international success which requires it to compete to "attract top academic and leadership talent", it added.

A study by the University and College Union in 2016 suggested the average salary for vice-chancellors was £272,000.

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