First Aus­tralian v-c pay data re­veal big in­creases

THE (Times Higher Education) - - NEWS -

It is known as the “Sun­shine State”. And the out­go­ing chiefs of two of Queens­land’s uni­ver­si­ties have ex­tra rea­son to smile, af­ter shar­ing pay rises of al­most half a mil­lion Aus­tralian dol­lars.

Queens­land Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy’s Peter Coal­drake leap- frogged the boss of the in­sti­tu­tion’s more fan­cied crosstown ri­val, the Univer­sity of Queens­land, to be­come the state’s high­est-paid vicechan­cel­lor last year.

Pro­fes­sor Coal­drake earned about A$1.26 mil­lion (£686,000), af­ter pock­et­ing a pay rise of A$180,000. It was a golden swan­song for the long- serv­ing vicechan­cel­lor, who re­tired in De­cem­ber af­ter lead­ing the in­sti­tu­tion for more than 17 years.

Pro­fes­sor Coal­drake’s re­mu­ner­a­tion in his last year of of­fice eclipsed that of UQ’s Peter Høj, who took a A$3,000 pay cut to earn A$1.16 mil­lion. This came af­ter Pro­fes­sor Høj, whose an­nual salary in­cludes a A$200,000 per­for­mance bonus, claimed a A$62,000 pay rise in 2016.

Mean­while, a A$285,000 raise for Scott Bow­man, vice-chan­cel­lor of Cen­tral Queens­land Univer­sity, pushed up the Rock­hamp­ton-based ad­min­is­tra­tor’s pay pack­age by 53 per cent to about A$825,000.

CQU said that Pro­fes­sor Bow­man had been awarded a A$180,000 bonus for meet­ing key per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors around growth and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment. The in­sti­tu­tion’s an­nual re­port, one of seven re­leased by the Queens­land par­lia- ment, says that its stu­dent pop­u­la­tion has grown by more than a third in re­cent years.

It says that CQU is also Aus­tralia’s “most in­clu­sive univer­sity”, boast­ing the high­est ra­tio of dis­ad­van­taged, ma­ture, in­dige­nous and first-in-fam­ily stu­dents. It also has eas­ily the big­gest foot­print of any Aus­tralian univer­sity, with 24 cam­puses and study cen­tres from Cairns in north­ern Queens­land to the Western Aus­tralian ham­let of Bus­sel­ton – a 2,200-mile flight away.

Pro­fes­sor Bow­man said that he had been one of Aus­tralia’s low­est­paid vice-chan­cel­lors when his con­tract came up for re­newal four years ago. He had re­jected the univer­sity coun­cil’s of­fer of an an­nual A$60,000 pay rise, but the coun­cil had “in­sisted” that he ac­cept the money as a one-off bonus at the end of his con­tract.

He said that he now re­gret­ted his stance, be­cause it meant that he had re­ceived three years’ worth of bonuses in a sin­gle in­stal­ment. “I al­ways knew that was go­ing to look odd,” Pro­fes­sor Bow­man said.

The vice-chan­cel­lors of three other Queens­land pub­lic uni­ver­si­ties notched up rel­a­tively mod­est pay rises of be­tween 0 per cent and 5 per cent, while a fourth – the Univer­sity

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