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Cardiff Uni Vice-Chancellor warns staff of £110m loss to income

He will be taking a 20% pay cut


In a statement made last night to staff, the Vice-Chancellor said Cardiff University could lose £110m due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Professor Colin Riordan has said a “realistic view” would see it lose 20% of its income in the next financial year.

In the letter, he stated that the real issues that face us “are in the next financial (and academic) year 2020/21” and that even if the requested government funding was to be issued, it would only “at most halve that deficit” still leaving Cardiff in an “unsustainable position”.

The Vice-Chancellor has stated within the letter that he would take a 20% pay cut which will contribute towards a hardship fund for the staff. The cut from his £256,798 annual salary will amount to over £50,000.

Along with himself, members of UEB have agreed to reduce their salary by 10%. This will “go towards a hardship fund for student and staff affected by Covid-19.”

He has said the university has started to discuss the challenges with unions and numerous steps have been taken to protect staff. These include a suspension of any new capital expenditure on building or equipment, a freeze on recruitment except for critical roles, and planning for potential furloughing.

He claims that “we are in a good position compared to many universities because we have managed our finances prudently over the years”.

The letter discusses the “stark realities” that Wales’s eight universities may face, potentially losing 13, 250 students “of whom more than half would be international”, the combined loss of which would be £98m. However, he suggests that this “is likely to be a significant understatement” as it only refers to the fee income of new starters, not considering the money lost through residences, catering, and a reduction in returning and postgraduate student income.

He states that there are “still many unknowns”, as nobody is sure when lockdown will be relaxed, but he emphasises that there are ongoing discussions with the government on how to re-open universities safely.

“If we work together…we will come through this crisis successfully, just as the University has on many occasions in the past.”

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