Leanna Byrne | Editor
Academics in the Trinity College Dublin (TCD) School of Business have expressed outrage following decisions by the College Board that approved a salary of over €180,000 for a new head of department. The salary would push significantly – almost €50,000 – beyond the upper limits for salary scales.
Sources within the School of Business told The University Times of a general discontent amongst the staff that the College Board approved a high administrative salary while “other staff have been recruited at reduced levels and existing staff have had pay and conditions cut”.
At present, the rate of pay for professorships are on a six point scale ranging from €106,516 – €136,276 since July 1, 2013. The professorship of Business Studies has been vacant since 2010 and was previously on a professional salary scale. However, the college considers the appointment to be “critical” to “attract a candidate with international experience and credibility”.
“A breach of the pay guidelines would be very unusual, especially in the social sciences,” said Professor of Finance Brian Lucey. “My concern is where any additional funds are coming from.”
Despite these concerns, Trinity College said that it intends to cover the additional remuneration required for the position outside of the rate of pay through non-exchequer funding.
Academics are also displeased the appointment process pointing out that out of the thirty-eight applicants only two candidates were vetted by the rest of the staff at the late presentation stage, whereas previously all applications would have been circulated amongst the department’s staff for their input. Furthermore, candidates that made it to the later stages were all external candidates that had been approached by the university to apply.
Earlier this month, Provost Patrick Prendergast approved a proposed salary of €185k per annum to attract a candidate that is currently working in a prestigious business school in Europe. Although the position was advertised stating that “the appointment will be made on the Professor salary scale at a point in line with current Government Pay Policy”, the college will now have to submit a formal request to break the pay barriers to the Higher Education Authority (HEA).
As reported by The University Times last week, college authorities said that the HEA have been notified of Trinity’s intention to offer remuneration package that departs from the Employment Control Framework. However, a spokesperson from the HEA said that, as of yet, no formal request has been made, and that such a request is only required to be made after the college appoints the new Professor.
The high-salaried appointment comes as Trinity plan for a €70 million project for a new School of Business to rival the Smurfit Business School, co-located with an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub which the university is now fundraising for.