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UK’s highest-paid vice-chancellor retires from Bath Uni

Dame Glynis Breakwell, the UK’s highest paid vice-chancellor, is retiring from the University of Bath amid criticism over the institution’s handling of senior staff pay. 

Her resignation came after it was revealed that she was earning £451,000 a year and living rent-free in a £1.6million townhouse. 

She announced she will step down from her position in August after 17 years.   

Dame Glynis Breakwell’s resignation came after it was revealed that she was earning £450,000 a year and living rent-free in a £1.6million townhouse

Dame Glynis announced she will step down from her position at the University of Bath (pictured) in August after 17 years

Dame Glynis announced she will step down from her position at the University of Bath (pictured) in August after 17 years

Last week Dame Glynis narrowly survived a no confidence vote, in a secret ballot of the university’s senate, which oversees the institution’s academic work. 

The emergency meeting came after a report by the university funding watchdog criticised Bath over its handling of senior pay. 

Academics at the University of Bath also vowed to join students in a protest aimed at removing 65-year-old Dame Glynis from her post.  

A motion of no confidence in Dame Glynis was defeated by 19 votes to 16 with two abstentions, in a secret ballot of the university’s senate, which oversees the institution’s academic work, last week.

The university has come under the spotlight in recent months over the pay packet of Dame Glynis, who took home £451,000 last year.  

On top of her salary, Dame Glynis also claimed more than £18,000 in expenses over the last year, including £8,000 on laundry and housekeeping.

She had utilities and council tax on the flat paid, plus £8,224 for housekeeping and laundry.

Bath University also spent £1,286 on electricity, £3,848 on gas, £390 on water and sewerage and £3,082 on council tax. It said the expenses were not registered as vice-chancellor Dame Glynis’s because the flat is used to host events.

Last week Dame Glynis, pictured with Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, in 2013, narrowly survived a no confidence vote, in a secret ballot of the university's senate, which oversees the institution's academic work

Last week Dame Glynis, pictured with Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, in 2013, narrowly survived a no confidence vote, in a secret ballot of the university’s senate, which oversees the institution’s academic work

In previous years Dame Glynis has even put through some £2 biscuits on her expenses. 

On top of that, she was given a £31,000 interest-free loan for a car. 

She is the only member of the university’s senior management team to ever receive such a loan, a Freedom of Information request found.

The FOI also disclosed she has no interest to pay on it, leaving students at the university irate. 

On top of her salary, Dame Glynis also claimed more than £18,000 in expenses over the last year, including £8,000 on laundry and housekeeping

On top of her salary, Dame Glynis also claimed more than £18,000 in expenses over the last year, including £8,000 on laundry and housekeeping

In a statement after the emergency vote last week, Dame Glynis issued a public apology for the findings of the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) investigation.  

Ahead of the senate ballot, a public meeting of university staff unanimously called for Dame Glynis and the chairman of the university’s council, Thomas Sheppard, to resign.

Michael Carley, president of the Bath University and College Union branch, said: ‘The vice-chancellor and Thomas Sheppard are living in a different reality if they think they have the support of their staff.

‘They may have been able to rely on senior management to narrowly survive the senate no confidence vote, but around 400 members of staff voted unanimously for them to go earlier yesterday.

‘It has been a very difficult few months at the university and we are astonished that they are trying to cling on, especially after the damning HEFCE report and after staff and students are so clearly demanding change.’

HEFCE’s inquiry concluded that Bath’s reputation has been damaged by the way it dealt with a motion put forward in February about the conduct of its remuneration committee, which sets senior salaries, including that of the vice-chancellor.

The resolution, which Bath’s Court – a body of around 200 individuals with links to the university – was asked to vote on, raised concerns at the ‘lack of transparency and accountability of the remuneration committee’ and the decisions it had made in the past year.

In a statement after the emergency vote last week, Dame Glynis (pictured with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 2012) issued a public apology for the findings of the Higher Education Funding Council for England's (HEFCE) investigation

In a statement after the emergency vote last week, Dame Glynis (pictured with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 2012) issued a public apology for the findings of the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) investigation

It was defeated, with 30 votes in favour and 33 against. While there were no official records of who voted for or against, some members of the pay committee and those whose pay is decided by it – including Dame Glynis – voted against the motion, HEFCE found. 

In her statement after the senate vote, Dame Glynis said: ‘In relation to the events at the February Court meeting, I completely accept that it was badly managed. 

‘However, the most important thing is that I accept that I should not have voted on the motion that was put to Court.

‘I made a mistake. I am sorry. You may rest assured that I will never make a mistake like that again.

‘In relation to governance of senior remuneration, HEFCE is clear that our processes comply with the basic national guidelines but it is also clear that we should be expecting to do much more to be transparent about these remuneration processes and that some aspects of the process should change.

‘I must be clear that, as VC, I do not determine these processes – this is a matter of governance and lies with Council. However, what I can say is that I will be doing everything in my power to ensure that Council does respond positively to the recommendations for change made by HEFCE.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk