University of Portsmouth vice-chancellor's pay frozen due to Covid after £6,000 increase

THE top University of Portsmouth boss has been handed a £6,000 pay rise - taking his total pay package to £347,000.

Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 12:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 2:36 pm

Vice-chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith was awarded the cash in October 2019, before the pandemic rocked the higher education sector.

Details have emerged in the latest annual report. An independent committee awarded him the increase, taking his basic salary to £288,000.

Prof Galbraith's £347,000 total remuneration – including a £57,000 a year pension allowance – is 16 times the total pay of the university's lowest paid member of staff.

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University of Portsmouth vice-chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith. Picture: Habibur Rahman

His pay has been frozen for the 2020/21 academic year.

‘The salary freeze reflects the challenging financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the university,’ a spokesman said.

The latest report revealed that 15 key staff, including Prof Galbraith, account for a basic salary bill of £1.217m, up from £1.13m last year when there were 16 people on the list.

The overall key management staff bill for pay and pensions was £1.376m, up from £1.252m.

In the same period, the year ending July 31, 2020, the university saw 69 staff leave.

The report said 50 people were paid £236,000 between them in contractual redundancy and severance payments.

It showed that 19 received £381,000 combined in final payments relating to the restructuring of the Faculty of Science and admin services in 2019.

A university spokesman said: ‘Contractual redundancies are common in the higher education sector when, for example, contracts end due to research grants or projects ending. This happens every year.’

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Falls from league tables are recognised in the annual report, as the university missed its target to be ranked, on average, in the top 50 of different tables by 2021.

The Guardian ranked it 66 in September, down from 21 the year beforehand. The Times ranked it at 72, down 16 places.

The remuneration committee handed Prof Galbraith after ruling he had provided ‘effective leadership’ and had a ‘firm focus’ on ‘strategic outcomes’.

The report said he either reached or made substantial progress to all performance objectives and added he showed a 'strong strategic leadership and a dynamic, enthusiastic and entrepreneurial approach'.

In 2014/15, Prof Galbraith was baid a basic salary of £253,000. He started at the institution in 2013.

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