New College bursar slams Louise Richardson’s “grossly excessive” pay

The New bursar said it was "hard to see value for money" in Louise Richardson's £350,000 salary

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The New College bursar has launched an attack on the “grossly excessive” pay of Oxford’s Vice Chancellor, Louise Richardson, and that of the University’s senior management team.

In a letter to the Financial Times, David Palfreyman stated that it was difficult to find “value for money in return” for the increasing pay of Oxford’s senior academics, when it had entailed little “improvement in governance”.

Palfreyman levelled much of his criticism against the salary of the Vice Chancellor (VC), Louise Richardson, who is paid a salary of £350,000 per year, rising to £410,000 if pensions are included.

Palfreyman, who has been he New bursar since 1988, stated that Oxford’s VC had once been the “cheapest…in the land” until about 2000.

David Palfreyman, New College bursar (Image: New College)

He dismissed comparisons between the wages of university VCs and those working in banking as “silly”.

“No sane person could dispute that top bankers are egregiously overpaid, but their daft pay is no reason for VCs to be put on the same gravy train, albeit in a third-class compartment,” the bursar wrote.

Figures released in January showed Louise Richardson was the third highest-paid VC in the UK, and that on average, the VCs of Russell Group universities took home six per cent more than they did two years ago.

It was also revealed in March that Oxford had the highest number of staff earning over £100,000 per year.

A spokesperson for the University said: “Oxford is the world’s highest-ranked university” and that “the remuneration of the vice-chancellor reflects this.”

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