Real weight of a pay packet

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The Independent Online
From Professor R. N. Franklin

Sir: Judith Judd reported (" `No logic to university chiefs' pay' ", 21 September) the results of putative research on the salaries paid to vice-chancellors based on universities' published accounts. It came to the conclusion that one half were overpaid and one half underpaid, relative to a formulative norm. Amazing!

To do a serious analysis of the matter, much more information would be needed, eg, the total remuneration package, the term of the contract, the role and powers of the post, the financial position of the institution at the time of the appointment of the present incumbent and the tasks with which the holder has been charged. Some of this is available only within the institution and confidential. Other information is shared among chairmen of governing bodies and properly used to inform their judgements when recruiting staff.

The variation noted is not significant in comparison with those found in other sectors of commercial enterprise.

Yours faithfully,

Raoul Franklin

Vice-Chancellor

City University

London EC1

25 September

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