More than one-third of vice-chancellors and principals at English universities are earning six-figure salaries and commanding lucrative pension deals, a new survey reveals today.
An analysis of the financial accounts of more than 85 higher education institutions revealed 28 were paying their heads more than £100,000 a year. A further 15 earned £90,000 or more.
Dr Derek Roberts, provost at University College London, tops the league table with a remuneration package of £138,822.
The vice-chancellor drawing the smallest pay packet is Mike Fitzgerald at Thames Valley University. He earns £68,000 a year. He is in the teachers' pension scheme with an annual employer's contribution of £5,467. Although some heads of HE colleges earn between £46,000 and £66,000.
The survey by the Times Higher Educational Supplement shows that some academics can earn more than their vice-chancellors. In 11 cases, members of staff were listed as earning more than £100,000.
The table is based on information disclosed for the first time in the 1993/94 financial statements submitted by universities and colleges. A condition of university funding for this year is that vice-chancellors' salaries should be made public.
This requirement was set out in a letter of guidance from the Secretary of State for Education in November 1993.
Actual disclosure procedures have yet to be standardised. Some of the institutions made full and detailed declarations of pay, pensions and benefits, while others declare only basic salaries, so comparative analysis requires some caution. Benefits enjoyed by some vice-chancellors include expensive houses and luxury cars, including Jaguars.
Last night, Dr Roberts, 62, who took a pay cut to work at UCL after leaving the post of joint deputy managing director of General Electric Company (GEC) was nonplussed at the news that he was top of the table.
He said: "It does not fuss me one way or the other. When people compile tables someone has to come top, it might as well be me. I earn £117,000 a year, but some vice-chancellors have fancy houses and fancy cars provided by their institution - I don't, the college provides me with a six-year-old Carlton.''