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UEA’s Vice Chancellor received his third annual pay rise this last year

Staff received a raise barely above 1% in the last year

A document brought to the attention of the Tab Norwich details how UEA's Vice Chancellor, David Richardson, received a 7% pay rise of £20,000 over the last academic year (16/17). The increase took the Vice Chancellor's salary from £271,000 (15/16) to £291,000 (16/17).

This continues the trend of the Vice Chancellor's pay continually rising since his appointment in 2014. In comparison, staff only recieved a 1.1% pay increase last academic year. However, from the first of August this year this has increased to 1.7%. At the time of publishing we do not know if the Vice Chancellor has received another salary increase for this current academic year and if so how much.

The Universities minister, Jo Johnson, recently demanded restraint over vice chancellors' pay. He stated; “We need to see restraint that ends the upwards ratchet in pay and the use of benchmarks that are appropriate for a system in receipt of significant public funding.”

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A break down of the Vice Chancellor's pay

Commenting on the news SU Campaigns Officer Jack Robinson said:

“Given that in 15/16 students were told to stump up a 3.4% rent increase and Uni staff were being told to cope on a derisory 1.1% pay increase, the University community will be staggered to learn that our Vice Chancellor trousered a 7.4% increase to his pay. The Government has repeatedly called on Universities to show ‘restraint’ on VC salaries in the interest of student Value for Money, but it looks like UEA is sticking two fingers up to Jo Johnson’s plea. It’s high time that shadowy remuneration committees were bought into the open so we can see why the University thinks this is OK, and the Government needs to deliver on its promise of a salary crackdown to end the culture of greed at the top of Universities”

We reached out to the University for a comment. Joe Greenwell, Chair of UEA’s Council had this to say:

“We have a Senior Officers’ Remuneration Committee (SORC) which determines the Vice-Chancellor’s remuneration and for this purpose comprises of three independent members of the University’s Council (the Chair, the Deputy Chair and the Treasurer).

Professor Richardson.

SORC takes into consideration both individual and institutional performance. Performance is measured against recognised key performance indicators and the overall development and delivery of the UEA 2030 Vision and Plan. Sustained growth and improved institutional performance have underpinned the UEA Vice-Chancellor’s increases in salary.

In the round, we take a measured and considered view, and exercise appropriate restraint, which is reflected in the substance of our decisions. It is the case that our Vice-Chancellor’s salary, according to the University and College Union (UCU) remains below the sector average (according to UCU the sector average VC salary was £277,834 for 2015/16 compared to £240,000 in 2016/17 for UEA’s Vice-Chancellor) and materially below that of our direct competitors.

When our current vice-Chancellor was first appointed he was initially appointed on a salary lower than his predecessor and over the past three years the University has continued to grow and perform extremely well. As a result of both his personal performance and the institution’s performance, the VC’s current salary is now only 4.2 per cent higher than his predecessor’s was three years ago.