Vice-Chancellor’s remuneration

The University’s Vice-Chancellors have made an enormous contribution to Southampton’s success since it was established as a university in 1952. The role of Vice-Chancellor requires a wide range of academic credentials, business acumen and international experience, together with the gravitas to engage at senior government level, locally, nationally and overseas; and the skills to lead and manage a complex multi-million pound institution.

In 2008, the University undertook a rigorous international recruitment process to find a leader to take Southampton forward as a top international university.

In September 2008, Professor Don Nutbeam was appointed as Vice-Chancellor, taking up his post a year later, with the following terms and conditions:

• Overall responsibility for delivering the University objectives, with an expectation of particular focus on targets and milestones relating to education and the student experience, research and enterprise, along with operational performance.

• Responsibility for responding effectively to changes in the financial, political and operational environment in which the University operates, and ensuring the continued confidence of the University community.

The value of the Vice-Chancellor’s salary package is determined by the Senior Salaries Committee, which comprises up to five members of the University's governing body (Council) and is chaired by Dr Gill Rider, Chair of the University Council. The Vice-Chancellor’s salary was fixed at £235,000 at the time of his appointment in 2008 (a year before he took up his post). His base salary has been adjusted twice since then; in August 2012, when it was increased by 5.1 per cent to £247,000, and in August 2014, when it was increased by 2.0 per cent to £252,000. Between 30 September 2008 and December 2014 this compares with combined cost of living increases of 10.54 per cent for all other staff in the University over the same period.

The Vice-Chancellor’s pay award also includes an annual non-consolidated, non-pensionable performance-related payment of up to 25 per cent of his base salary. Performance-related payments to the Vice-Chancellor are determined annually by the Senior Salaries Committee, taking into account the overall performance of the University and the Vice-Chancellor’s personal contribution in the financial year; these payments can vary both upwards and downwards from year to year. Payments in relation to this element of salary are made in the financial year (1 August to 31 July) after they are earned and are therefore published in that subsequent year’s accounts.

The Vice-Chancellor’s performance-related payment for 2014 (relating to a 15 month period from August 2013 to October 2014, due to the realignment of Senior Salaries Committee – see footnote) was £38,657. The annual equivalent of this figure is £30,875, exactly matching the performance-related payment made to the Vice-Chancellor in the previous year. This figure will be recorded in the University's financial statements for 2014/15 to be published in the autumn of 2015.

When the Senior Salaries Committee reviews the Vice-Chancellor’s remuneration package, it does so with reference to the University’s progress, and relative to the remuneration of the leaders of other Russell Group universities, taking into account these institutions’ size, ranking and location. The Committee normally looks to benchmark base pay at around the median of that received by comparable Russell Group university Vice-Chancellors.

Benchmarking data, and other information that contributes to the Senior Salaries Committee’s decision-making process, is supplied independently by the Director of Human Resources.

“The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution, with an annual turnover in excess of £480 million, over 23,000 students and 5,000 members of staff,” says Chair of the University Council, Dr Gill Rider. “It is to be expected that the Vice-Chancellor of a large, complex, international university should be remunerated appropriately.”

Further information:

Details of the Vice-Chancellor’s remuneration package are published annually in the University’s financial statements.
These are available for view online at

• Details of Level 7 pay guidelines are available to view online at

• In the financial year that ended 31 July 2014, the Vice-Chancellor's total salary was £280,000, of which £30,875 was a one-off non-pensionable performance payment. The University's employer's pension contributions to Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited (USS) in respect of the Vice-Chancellor amounted to £39,615.

Vice-Chancellor’s salary in each financial year since taking up post in October 2009 (includes performance payments and contribution to health insurance cover)

2009-10 £196,000 (period from October 2009 to July 2010)
Pension contribution: £31,300

2010-11 £267,000 (including £30,000 one-off non-pensionable performance payment)
Pension contribution: £37,600

2011-12 £277,000 (including £40,000 one-off non-pensionable performance payment)
Pension contribution: £37,600

2012-13 £294,000 (including £45,000 one-off non-pensionable performance payment)
Pension contribution: £39,615

2013-14 £280,000 (including £30,875 one-off non-pensionable performance payment)
Pension contribution: £39,615

Additional notes:

• Changes to the calculation of pension contributions account for fluctuations in amounts published.

• University’s financial year runs from 1 August to 31 July

• In the years up to 2013, the Senior Salaries Committee met in July. It now meets in November to enable the alignment of the performance element of the Vice-Chancellor’s pay to the most recent financial year end.

• Southampton’s Senior Salaries Committee has the following terms of reference:
To determine the Vice-Chancellor's salary. (The Vice-Chancellor and Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor are absent during consideration of the Vice-Chancellor’s remuneration)
To receive recommendations from the Vice-Chancellor on salary progression and PRP payments for members of UEG.
To agree the scheme/rules by which salaries of UEG members are set.
To give retrospective audit oversight to Professorial and Level 7 School and Professional Services based staff costings and equal pay monitoring data.
The Vice-Chancellor approves the salaries of all Level 7 staff and may delegate this responsibility to the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

The Vice-Chancellor

The Vice-Chancellor

Professor Don Nutbeam