1. ITV Report

Staff call for Bath University vice-chancellor to resign

Dame Glynis Breakwell at Bath University's 50th anniversary celebrations. Credit: ITV West Country

Staff at the University of Bath have called on the vice-chancellor and board of governors to resign following a report into how the university is run.

There has been a widespread outcry at the salary and benefits earned by Dame Glynis Breakwell. It has now been revealed that she had a £17,500 rise last year - taking her total earnings to £468,500. That's more than any vice-chancellor in the country.

Vice-chancellor's pay rise in 2016
Vice-chancellor's current salary and benefits

The report, by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce), made 13 recommendations for improvements in connection with its remuneration committee, which sets the vice-chancellor’s pay.

Dame Glynis was a member when her latest pay increase was decided but she has since stepped down.

The report also covered the conduct of the university’s Court where there have been a number of resignations following the revelations.

Trade unions representing staff at the University of Bath (UCU, UNISON and Unite) are calling for change.

Corporate greed and ineptitude are now overshadowing our high quality teaching and research. The vice-chancellor and governing body inspire no confidence and should step aside.

– Dr Michael Carley, President of Bath Universities College Union

Excessive pay rises for a few at the top have been at the expense of the vast majority of university staff whose pay has been cut by 15% since 2009. On top of this, Bath depends heavily on zero-hours and other insecure contracts for all kinds of jobs, from cleaning to teaching. This is no way to run a university.

– Dr Christopher Roche, UNISON branch secretary

For staff, the final straw has been the effect on our reputation with prospective students and their parents. University open days have brought embarrassing questions about overpaid managers and poor governance that we cannot possibly answer.

– Walter Guy, Unite branch secretary

Thomas Sheppard, chair of Council, Bath University's governing body, has responded to the HEFCE report, saying "we are committed to ensuring our university is well led and well governed".

We accept the findings of the HEFCE report and are open to all its recommendations.

We are pleased the report acknowledges that we have always followed the national requirements in relation to our governance structures and their functions but we accept we can do more in relation to best practice at a time where expectations of the sector are rapidly evolving.

We stand ready to make the changes needed.

– Thomas Sheppard, Chair of Council, Bath University