University Court calls for vice-chancellor to leave immediately

The University of Bath's Court has passed a motion calling for the immediate departure of its vice-chancellor following a row about her pay.

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell is the UK's highest paid vice-chancellor, reportedly receiving £475,000 in salary and benefits last year.

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

She will step down from the university in August, remaining living in her university-provided accommodation in Bath until then, then take a sabbatical on full pay until February.

A car loan worth £31,500 will also be written off.

The Court is a statutory body with around 200 members, providing a forum that represents the interests of the university's internal and external concerns.

At a meeting on Tuesday evening, it passed a motion expressing no confidence in Dame Glynis, the chair of the university's Council and the remuneration committee.

It called for all to stand down immediately, as well as expressing that the council went beyond its powers by granting Dame Glynis a six-month sabbatical.

Dame Glynis's university-provided accommodation should be counted in her pay, it agreed.

A spokesman for the University of Bath said: "At its meeting today, the Court of the University of Bath agreed Standing Orders as part of steps taken to implement recommendations made in the report by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) into governance relating to remuneration.

"A full and open discussion took place around the previous meeting of Court in February 2017 and the HEFCE report and two Motions were passed."

A motion calling for a 'visitor' as part of an institutional checks and balances system was agreed and will be implemented, the spokesman said.

"A Motion relating to the HEFCE report was agreed and will be considered at the next meeting of Council, the University's governing body," he added.

"The University's Council has already accepted all the recommendations contained in the HEFCE report."

Hundreds of students, accompanied by members of staff, marched at the university in November in protest at Dame Glynis' retirement terms.

Students and staff protest at the University of Bath (Claire Hayhurst/PA)
Students and staff protest at the University of Bath (Claire Hayhurst/PA)

Last year, HEFCA announced they were making inquiries into Dame Glynis's retirement terms, following a letter from Labour councillor Joe Rayment.

Thomas Sheppard, chair of the university's council, said at the time that he believed the complaint had "no substance whatsoever".

In a previous report, the watchdog severely criticised the university's handling of senior pay.

University of Bath: retirement terms of Vice-Chancellor

-- HEFCE (@HEFCE) December 6, 2017

By the time of her retirement on August 31, Dame Glynis will have been in post for 17 years - a third of the university's lifetime.

Dame Glynis made £471,000 in 2016/17 including benefits, a Freedom of Information request by the Bath Chronicle found.

The request also showed that a 1.7% increase on her base salary had been approved by the remuneration committee - totalling an additional £4,510, the paper revealed.

Four MPs previously resigned from roles at the university in protest at her salary.

Read Full Story