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University of Sussex vice-chancellor got £230,000 pay-off

8 December 2017 | last updated: 11 December 2017

University of Sussex vice-chancellor got £230,000 pay-off

The University of Sussex is the latest institution in the firing line for excessive senior pay in higher education. Times Higher Education has revealed that the university's former vice-chancellor Michael Farthing was given a £230,000 pay-off in his final month in office.

Farthing, who left in August 2016, received the payment "in lieu of notice", according to the university's latest accounts. Times Higher Education says overall, he was paid £252,000 in the month of August 2016, of which £249,000 was salary and £3,000 employer pension contributions.

UCU said that in any other week news of a quarter of a million pounds pay-off would be the biggest story in higher education. However, this week it wasn't even the biggest pay-off.

It has been a busy week in Bath where the spending watchdog Hefce is investigating the golden goodbye Dame Glynis Breakwell is to receive at the University of Bath. Meanwhile it was revealed on Wednesday that Bath Spa University gave its former vice-chancellor a package worth £808,000 including a £429,000 payout.

At the start of the week, the University of Southampton was forced to admit its vice-chancellor was on the committee that set his £433,000 pay package, after wrongly saying he wasn't.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: 'In any other week a quarter of a million pounds payout would be huge news, but we have already seen one almost twice as big this week. With further excessive pay revelations likely to follow, it is time universities stopped simply trying to defend the system and accept there must be radical change.

'Vice-chancellors must be removed from the committees setting their pay and signing off their perks. They must publish full minutes of those meetings and staff and students must be given a seat at those tables to properly scrutinise these deals.'