A ‘Break Well’ made?

Dame Glynis Marie Breakwell, DBE, DL, FRSA, FAcSS has announced she is standing down as Vice Chancellor of Bath University.

There has been much criticism,  according to the linked report above, about her conflict of interests; for example sitting on and chairing the remuneration committee, resulting in a damning report from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, after it investigated the conduct of the university’s remuneration committee and the events of (sic) university court meeting in February; a committee that since 2011 had hiked her pay dramatically, by nearly £200,000 in the space of five years.

From Wikipedia we learn that it was also reported around the same time by a freedom of information request submitted by Bath councillor Joe Rayment that Breakwell claimed an extra £20,000 in domestic expenses despite living in a grace-and-favour property owned by the university; And that as part of the terms of her resignation, the university will write off the interest-free loan for her £31,000 car which she can keep.

The universitiesuk website shows that, albeit 2014-2015, just over a quarter of the total funding of universities comes from direct government sources and that two thirds of research income again comes from direct government sources.  The Annual Accounts for 2016 of Bath University show that funding body grants amounted to £35.2bn and grants and contracts amounted to £36.6b –  over one quarter of their total income.

As is well known governments do not have any funds of their own – and whilst universities are necessary and do good work – this blog continues to maintain that any person whose remuneration is paid from the public purse should be subject to some sort of ‘referism‘ by those who supply said funds, if they so wish.

Just saying…………..


2 thoughts on “A ‘Break Well’ made?

  1. The Breakwell case is possibly extreme but I would imagine similar but less dramatic cases will also come to light. I can remember when the old Polytechnics became universities hearing one senior academic say how disappointed he was with the rush to award pay rises and honorary degrees. I say that was when higher education kicked off with the self regard we see with Breakwell.

    1. Re last sentence: agreed. This of course does not negate the fact that those that pay should have a say?

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