The Vice-Chancellor’s salary, other remuneration and conditions of service are determined by the Remuneration Committee of Council. This comprises external members of Council and the Vice-Chancellor is neither a member nor in attendance at this Committee.
Any member of University staff seeking a merit based increase to their salary is required to make an application in writing, setting out the case they wish to be considered. This applies to the Vice-Chancellor in the same way as to all University employees. If the Vice-Chancellor applies for a merit based pay increase in this way, the case is considered by the Remuneration Committee in the light of their assessment of the Vice-Chancellor’s performance during the prior year against agreed objectives and in the context of the University’s overall progress in meeting its KPIs. Details of our Vice-Chancellor’s salary, including benefits and pensions contributions, are published annually in our Financial Statements.
For the period from 1 April 2020 to 31 October 2020 the Vice-Chancellor took a voluntary salary reduction of 20%.
The Vice-Chancellor (VC) is the University’s chief academic and administrative officer. This requires the VC to promote the interests of the University, staff and students both within the UK and internationally, involving travel on University business, including engagement with current and potential partner organisations and our alumni.
The University’s international outlook reflects the global orientation of Essex. The Vice-Chancellor’s travel plan (.pdf) sets out his major international visits and the purpose of each of the visits that have taken place. This is updated on 1 February and 31 July each year. This draws on a set of recommendations from our Dean of Partnerships, Partnerships Office, Recruitment Team and Alumni Relations Team. At the beginning of each academic year the VC discusses the international travel plan with the Chair of Council, to ensure that proposed international travel is focused on the delivery of the University’s mission. The VC is usually accompanied by other University staff on visits. A report on work related visits abroad by the VC is made annually to the Remuneration Committee.
The University of Essex reimburses the reasonable expenses incurred on University business in accordance with expenses guidelines in our Financial Regulations and these apply to all staff. Expenses charged to the VC’s university credit card, hotel accommodation costs and out of pocket expenses are published quarterly. The VC may attend events or participate in activities involving multiple participants where another member of University staff covers the cost and is reimbursed by the University. As it is not practical to separate out elements of such expenditure that relate specifically to the VC, details of any such expenses are not included in the details that are published quarterly.
The VC is expected to travel by the most economical means (standard by rail and economy flights). If there is a need to travel business class, a case needs to be approved by the Registrar and Secretary. Flight and rail costs are published quarterly.
The University owns a property on our Colchester campus known as Lake House. This property was constructed at the same time the University was being established, for the specific purpose of enabling the Vice-Chancellor to be resident on campus. It is a condition of contract of the Vice-Chancellor that he must reside in this property and that it is the Vice-Chancellor’s primary residence during their period of office. The Vice-Chancellor is not required to make rental payments for the property but the monthly rental value is pensionable. HMRC’s position on the tax liability for accommodation for Vice-Chancellors has changed, compared to the point at which the contractual requirement was made for the VC to live in Lake House. A personal tax liability for the accommodation therefore applies from 6 April 2021 and as a consequence, the Vice-Chancellor receives a non-pensionable accommodation allowance with effect from 6 April 2021. The accommodation allowance is calculated based on the additional tax liability incurred from the Vice-Chancellor’s residence in Lakeside House, including an amount reflecting the additional PAYE deductions the University are required to make on payment of the accommodation allowance itself. Both the additional taxable benefits and the accommodation allowance will be reported in the University of Essex’s Financial Statements as part of the Vice-Chancellor’s total remuneration in line with the relevant guidance from the Office for Students at the time.
The Vice-Chancellor makes use of this house to host events for University staff and students and for external stakeholders with an interest in, or supporting, the work of the University. The events held in the Lake House 2021-22 (.pdf), hosted by the Vice-Chancellor sets out the purpose of each event held. This is updated on 1 February and 31 July each year. Catering and service is provided by Wivenhoe House Hotel and the Edge Hotel School, both based at the University.
The University bears the costs of maintenance and upkeep of the property. All major works need to be approved by the Registrar and Secretary. The cost of cleaning is shared equally between the University and the Vice-Chancellor. Power and gas supply are apportioned between the Vice-Chancellor and University. This is declared to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and reported annually on the P11D form through the Vice-Chancellor’s annual self assessment.
The University owns a car and also employs a member of staff who, amongst other duties, acts as the University driver. The vehicle and the services of the driver are made available to the members of the University Steering Group and other senior staff in support of their duties. The driver also undertakes other duties as a member of our Estates Management team.
The Vice-Chancellor may, with the approval of the Chair of the University’s Council, undertake work outside of the University. Details of external appointments held by the Vice-Chancellor (.pdf) are available
and in each instance include details of any additional remuneration payable to the Vice-Chancellor. This is updated on 1 February and 31 July each year. A report on the outside earnings of the Vice-Chancellor is made annually to Remuneration Committee.
To minimise absence from work on grounds of ill-health, the University part funds medical insurance for the Vice-Chancellor and direct dependent. This is declared to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and reported annually on the P11D form through the Vice-Chancellor’s annual self assessment.
Strategic events and stakeholder engagement
Each year, the Remuneration Committee approves a budget for strategic events and stakeholder engagement in support of the University’s mission, of which the Vice-Chancellor is the budget holder. Expenditure is reviewed annually to provide oversight of expenditure.