De Montfort University vice-chancellor was paid £270k after resigning

Dominic Shellard De Montfort University
Image caption Dominic Shellard received £270,000 after he resigned in February

The vice-chancellor of a university who resigned before an investigation into the institution was launched received £270,000 after leaving his post.

Dominic Shellard left his post at De Montfort University (DMU) in February, shortly before the Office for Students (OfS) began a probe into concerns raised by whistleblowers.

The regulator found "significant and systemic" failings in governance.

The University and College Union (UCU) said the payment was "astounding".

DMU said it acknowledged its governance "was inadequate".

Issues around the level of vice-chancellor remuneration have been highlighted in recent years, with an OfS investigation finding some are being paid as much as 13 times more than staff.

The payment to Prof Shellard was detailed in the OfS investigation, which concluded on Monday.

It said no official findings had been made "given the university's co-operation with the investigation", but added it would "continue to monitor" its progress.

In an email sent to university staff, interim vice-chancellor Andy Collop said the board of governors "approved a payment in line with the former vice-chancellor's contractual entitlement, which stipulated a notice period of nine months".

DMU released a statement acknowledging that its governance "did not provide sufficient and robust oversight" of university leaders, and published an action plan on how it was reforming its governance.

Image caption De Montfort University has published an action plan detailing how it is reforming its governance procedures

Paul Cottrell, UCU acting general secretary, said the payment to Prof Shellard showed the need for staff and students to have a say on executive pay in higher education.

"UCU has repeatedly warned that a lack of accountability on senior pay and perks is damaging confidence in our universities," he said.

"Institutions cannot continue to plead poverty on staff pay while rewarding their leaders so handsomely and with so little scrutiny."

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