University of Portsmouth VC’s pay rise leaves nasty taste behind | News Comment

Vice-chancellor of the University of Portsmouth Prof Graham Galbraith. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Vice-chancellor of the University of Portsmouth Prof Graham Galbraith. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
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There is little doubt that the University of Portsmouth has boosted this city’s reputation and its profile – both here and abroad.

When the old polytechnic was granted university status in 1992 there were those who thought it a gimmick.

That has proved not to be the case.

Its rise came at just the right time; as a city virtually wholly-dependent on the Royal Navy and associated defence industries, it was clear it was going into decline as repeated government cuts reduced the size of the Senior Service and its fleet.

Twenty-six years on, and among a younger generation, Portsmouth, hugely changed to accommodate its student population, is probably better-known as a seat of learning than the oft-touted ‘Home of the Royal Navy’.

But that status comes at a price.

As we hear so often, in a free market economy you have to pay top dollar to get the man or woman of your choice to run your business – and that’s exactly what the University of Portsmouth is, make no mistake.

So, if Portsmouth wants to maintain its highly-respected university, it must be able to compete with the rest and that means paying vice-chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith £273,000 a year. It’s a salary the vast majority of Portsmouth people can only fantasise about earning, yet it is not exorbitant compared to that received by captains of industry.

However, what leaves a nasty taste in the mouth is that while he was handed a £7,000 pay rise, 200 of his staff have lost their jobs.  A ll  this came on top of  cuts to departments. There was also a   rebranding of the business, which  included , of course, a new logo. That all    cost an eye-watering £800,000.

Prof Galbraith won his pay rise for meeting his targets. We hope his reduced staff can now meet theirs.