The boss of a low-ranking university who owns a Rolls-Royce, a Bentley and sails a 30ft-yacht has seen his pay soar this year.
Professor George Holmes, who provoked criticism last year for claiming vice chancellors in Britain are not paid enough, has received a salary rise of £66,000 to lead the University of Bolton.
He now earns a total of £290,215 – higher than some leading vice chancellors despite his institution being smaller and ranked 126th by the Complete University Guide.
The news comes after Professor Holmes was ridiculed for flaunting his wealth publicly, saying he ‘hope[d] students use their education to get a good job and then they can have a Bentley’.
He also made headlines in January when it emerged that he had attended the all-male Presidents’ Club charity dinner at the Dorchester Hotel where, it was claimed, several hostesses were sexually harassed. Professor Holmes later issued a statement saying he had felt ‘uncomfortable’ about the treatment of female staff and had raised his concerns.Details of his latest pay deal emerged in company accounts for 2016/17, which have been published later than those of other universities.
Sally Hunt, head of the University and College Union, said: ‘George Holmes has certainly made the headlines again this year, but not in a manner one would expect to be rewarded so handsomely for.
‘The vice-chancellor has been rightly criticised for his embarrassing lack of self-awareness when it comes to his pay and accepting this huge increase will do nothing to combat the idea that vice-chancellors are utterly out of touch.’
Asked about his Bentley Continental and yacht, which is moored on Lake Windermere and was part-funded by an inheritance, the professor said: ‘You should be free to spend your money how you want.’
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.