The income of Huddersfield University’s top boss has trebled in just a few years.
Vice-chancellor, Professor Bob Cryan, has been put in the spotlight over a number of salary hikes that have seen him end up earning more than £364,000 when pensions contributions are included.
Prof Cryan was listed as earning £314,612 in August 2016, with a pension contribution over the 12 prior months of £53,374.
In August 2007 he was earning £169,950.
Any rise in his salary in 2017 has so far not been revealed.
His earnings have shot up over a period when most of his staff were forced to accept real-terms cuts.
The figures, which see Prof Cryan elevated to being the 15th highest earning vice-chancellor in Britain, have been at the heart of a row about “obscene” pay levels.
Universities minister Jo Johnson has called for an end the “endless ratcheting up” of pay among the highest earners.
He called for pay restraint at a time when academic staff have seen their pay fall by 2.8% in real terms.
Prof Cryan has seen his salary increase by £146,261 since tuition fees were trebled in 2012, despite the university operating a 1% annual pay rise – below inflation – for its staff.
His six-figure pay hike emerged as part of a study into vice-chancellor pay, which found that dozens of university leaders have seen their pay packages surge by more than 20% over the past five years.
Robert Halfon, chairman of the Commons education select committee, said the latest vice-chancellor salary figures “reeked” and were further evidence that “rot had continued to set-in across the sector”.
“These obscene levels of pay show that university vice-chancellors are becoming the Marie Antoinette of the education sector,” he told a national newspaper.
Prof Cryan’s £364,564 total remuneration is nearly 25% higher than the average pay package for a university vice-chancellor despite Huddersfield University being ranked 72nd by The Complete University Guide.
Prof Cryan declined to speak to the Examiner directly but released a statement through the university’s press office.
It said: “Professor Cryan’s salary was frozen, at his own request, for a four-year period before 2010-11 because of the conditions in the economy and was in the lower quartile for pay in the sector at the beginning of that period.
“Sustained high-level performance by the university in the 10 years under Professor Cryan’s leadership, has seen his salary rise to a level that was still 20% below that of the highest paid vice-chancellor.
“Professor Cryan does not receive a house, a car or health insurance as part of his remuneration.
“He never travels first or business class by air or rail and he can boast one of the lowest expense claims in the sector.
“His salary is set by the independent Remuneration Committee of the university’s council and takes into account the salaries of other vice chancellors and Professor Cryan’s own performance.
“Professor Cryan has no discussion with the committee with regard to this.”