Michael Farthing paid ‘golden goodbye’ of £230,000
Previous Vice-Chancellor of Sussex University, Michael Farthing, was paid a £230,000 sum ‘in lieu of notice’ upon stepping down from his role, University Financial Statements for 2016-17 reveal.
The Times Higher Education reported this morning that Farthing was paid a total of £252,000 in the twelve months to 31 July 2017. £249,000 is listed as ‘salary’, of which £230,000 was paid ‘in lieu of notice’ and £3,000 was employer pension contributions. Mr Farthing, however, left the University in August 2016, being paid a salary in the year to July 2016 of £295,000.
A University of Sussex spokesperson said: “The University’s approach to senior staff remuneration continues to be open and transparent, and we take our governance responsibilities and sector compliance requirements very seriously.
“In the case of our former Vice-Chancellor, we met our contractual obligations to him and this has been clearly published in our annual financial accounts.”
Farthing left office in 2016 after criticism from staff and students as he presided over the outsourcing of hundreds of service staff and the suspension of five students who demonstrated against the changes.
The revelation comes amid recent debates over ‘excessive Vice-Chancellor pay’ and ‘golden goodbyes’. The University of Bath Spa’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Christina Slade, came under heavy criticism for her £800,000 salary (£808,000 including benefits) and has since stepped down. Slade was paid £429,000 at the time of her departure, which has also sparked concern from students. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) announced it was looking into the decision.
Earlier this month, Prof Dame Glynis Breakwell, Bath’s current Vice-Chancellor, announced her resignation after her salary of £468,000 came under heavy scrutiny. She will remain in the role until the end of the summer term.
Michael Farthing has been contacted for comment.