Vice Chancellor earns over £100k more a year than Nicola Sturgeon

Credit: stir.ac.uk

The mysterious case of Gerry McCormac’s “remuneration”

The University of Stirling’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Gerry McCormac, earned £247,165 a year in 2013-14, according to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests carried out by the Taxpayer’s Alliance.

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By contrast, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is entitled to a salary of £144,687 – but only claims £135,605 as part of a voluntary pay freeze.

McCormac’s total yearly remuneration is defined by the Taxpayer’s Alliance as:

Salary, fees, allowances, bonuses, benefits in kind, compensation for loss of office and employer pension contributions.”

Concerns were raised in January 2014 when it was revealed McCormac was to receive a 6% pay rise, hiking his salary up to £205,000 at a time when University staff were being denied even a 1% increase in pay.

But a great show was made of McCormac’s decision to donate the £12,000 salary increase to a student fund.

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Photo: ssy.org.uk

For most of the financial year in question, McCormac’s salary was still £193,000.

This raises the question: where was the additional remuneration coming from, which comes to at least £42,000, and possibly over £50,000?

It is also worth noting that this excess cash does not include an additional £1,417 the Vice-Chancellor claimed in expenses.

This additional remuneration is around one-fifth of McCormac’s entire earnings. Students and staff will surely be interested to know what the Vice-Chancellor got this money for.

If it was fees or an allowance – what for, exactly? If it was a bonus – on what basis was he awarded a bonus? If it was compensation – compensation for what? If it was perks – so called ‘benefits in kind’ – then what were they, and why did they cost so much?

Some of these perks might include, as the Stirling Observer reported in May this year, part of the £10,000 McCormac claimed in air fares between 2012 and 2014.

But if this is the case, it would still only account for, at the very most, around a quarter of the earnings that are in excess of McCormac’s stated salary.

Until some clarity and detail can be provided as to why the Vice-Chancellor requires such a large supplement to an already almighty salary – a salary that comes out of the public purse – we can only speculate.

To this end, Brig has sent an FOI request of its own to the University, asking for a thorough breakdown of Gerry McCormac’s remuneration.

McCormac is no stranger to controversy over his expenses, having faced a storm of criticism over £150,000 of University money that was lavished on a refurbishment of his luxury home between 2010 and 2013 – at the same time as 17 University staff were handed compulsory redundancies.

McCormac was not the only member of University management to receive annual earnings in excess of the First Minister’s.

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Former Deputy Vice-Chancellor Edmund Burke — Photo: qmul.ac.uk

Former Deputy Vice-Chancellor Edmund Burke – now at Queen Mary University in London – received total annual remuneration of £164,284.

by Dan Vevers

 

 

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