Principal Louise Richardson has received a one-off bonus of £30,000 for the year 2013/14, a reward defended by the University on the grounds of her hard work and charitable donations.
The other monetary benefits the Principal receives further doubled from £5,000 to £10,000 this year, increasing her total remuneration package by 13 per cent. This is an increase well above the rate of inflation and the largest overall pay rise accepted by any Scottish principal.
This is the first such bonus received by Professor Richardson who, according to a University spokesperson, “has not sought nor accepted a salary increase since her appointment as Principal six years ago.”
Professor Richardson was awarded this substantial bonus by the University Court as a one-off payment in recognition of the University’s progress under her leadership. Her basic salary remains the same at £225,000 per year.
In contrast, the Principals of Dundee and Abertay Universities saw their annual pay rise by two per cent this year; from £220,000 to £227,000 and from £187,000 to £191,000 respectively.
Professor Richardson has also personally donated £120,000 to St Andrews’ 600th Anniversary Fundraising Campaign to support scholarships and new facilities for postgraduate students.
The spokesperson explained that under Professor Richardson’s leadership, “St Andrews has experienced one of the most successful periods in its history. It has achieved its highest ever rankings in United Kingdom league tables, is the only Scottish university in the UK top ten, has two years running been named Scottish University of the Year, consistently topped the annual UK National Student Survey, significantly expanded its numbers of students from deprived backgrounds, expanded the volume of scholarships and bursaries it offers, driven up the quality of its research and run an ambitious global fundraising campaign which has realised over £50 million for teaching and research in St Andrews.”
Last year, The Saint reported that Michael Russell, the Scottish education secretary, was considering introducing legislation that would change how much university principals are paid. This followed the revelation that some University principals were enjoying rises well above inflation – the largest increase being a 24 per cent rise for Professor Steve Chapman of Heriot-Watt University.
This news came in the wake of a series of strikes by academics, protesting low wages.
Mary Senior, Scotland official for the Universities and Colleges Union, said: “At a time when our members’ pay is being forced down as universities plead poverty, it is really quite incredible to see that, once again, some university heads believe it is acceptable to enjoy these inflation-busting pay rises.
“These figures also demonstrate the completely arbitrary nature of pay rises for university principals. The time has come for full scrutiny of senior pay in our universities.”
Ms Senior pointed to the upcoming Higher Education Governance Bill as a chance to enforce stricter regulations on awarding senior managers “out-of-touch pay rises.”