V-C salaries on the up

The Australian   |     10 April 2015

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University heads have been pocketing substantial salary increases while demanding the Senate pass government legislation to allow fee deregulation based on the ¬argument their institutions are cash-strapped.

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Fee increase2The biggest increase was for Sandra Harding, head of north Queensland’s James Cook University and chairwoman of peak group Universities Australia. Harding’s salary has increased 65 % in just four years — from $559,000 in 2010 to $927,000 last year, including a $79,000 pay increase last year.

The highest paid vice-chancellor in Australia is Australian Catholic University’s Greg Craven, who took home a package of about $1.2 million in 2013.

The best paid viced-chancellor in Queensland is Peter Coaldrake, head of Queensland University of Technology, who took home $1.059m last year. Coaldrake, whose salary has risen 39.5% since 2010, is the country’s longest-serving vice-chancellor of a single institution, having taken over as head of QUT in 2003.

Peter Hoj of the University of Queensland took home a salary package of $1.049m last year.

Scott Bowman of Central Queensland University, with a package of $569,000, was the state’s lowest paid vice-chancellor. Bowman’s salary has risen just 16% since 2010. Bowman told The Australian:

All the senior executive, including myself, take the same salary increase as the staff get under their enterprise agreement.  In the year the university posted a deficit, none of the senior executive took a pay rise.

Of Western Australia’s four public universities, the highest paid vice-chancellor in 2015 was Paul Johnson at the University of Western Australia, who appears to have taken a small pay cut to about $959,000. His university also saw a drop in operating ¬surplus from $124m in 2013 to $90.5m last year.

Richard Higgott, forced to resign from Murdoch University after he was referred to the state’s Crime and Corruption Commission over unspecified claims, received about $760,000 last year. He also oversaw a massive drop in operating surplus from $35.9m in 2013 to just $2.9m last year.

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