Bath Uni splash out £16k on a painting of their £460k-a-year former VC

And then hid it from public sight

The University of Bath commissioned and paid £16,388.46 for a painting of Dame Glynis Breakwell, who recently resigned amid controversy over her £468,000 a year pay package.

The painting and the plaque have since been removed from Bath Uni’s 4 West building and not been seen publicly since, according to BathTime.

The Queen’s youngest child Prince Edward unveiled the painting of the ex-VC on 25th February, a ceremony that unceremoniously cost the university an additional £750. Bath Uni also paid £462 for a small plaque bearing Glynis’s name.

Bath’s SU President has told The Tab that the spending, coming amid campaigns for increased mental health funding, is “an insult to students”

Glynis Breakwell resigned on 28th February after it was revealed she earned £468k a year, a salary that included an annual £2 biscuit allowance and a five-bedroom townhouse in Lansdown Crescent in Bath city centre.

Glynis’s confectionery allowance was less than popular amongst the Bath student community, inspiring meme page Bath Uni Memes and Memeversity of Bath.

In response to the latest lucrative spend on Glynis, Merry Chamen, second year French and Italian student Chair of Bath Music Society, said: “Glynis was an outrageous waste of university money. It seems, with painful irony, that they have ‘honoured’ her in much the same way.”

Eve Alcock, President of Bath Students’ Union, told The Tab: “In a climate where we’re always lobbying for more money for mental health and well-being initiatives or bursaries and financial support, this news comes as a huge insult to students.

“It highlights just how much governance reform was needed, as this was signed off between a small group of people with no check or balance. When you start to think about what sorts of things £16k could pay for to benefit students and their university experience, it is extremely frustrating that the money was used on this.”

In 2018, The Tab reported that six student protesters occupying Glynis’ office were forced to pee in water bottles after being denied access to toilets. In the midst of the UCU strikes, they were calling for her reject the proposed pension plan and resume meaningful negotiations, to dock staff wages and divert funds into mental health services, and for greater student representation within the university.

In response, The University of Bath said: “Portraits have been commissioned for all previous Vice-Chancellors, including the most recent, to mark their contribution to the University. A procurement process for the painting was conducted and authorised by the University Secretary and previous Chair of Council.”

Painter Josh Waterhouse has been contacted for comment.