The board of Trinity College has confirmed that it has offered a salary in excess of the agreed maximum pay limits to the leading candidate for the role of professor of business studies.
A college spokesperson confirmed to the Irish Examiner that the offer was made in light of exceptional circumstances, namely that an “alternative offer from an overseas institution” was on the table.
It is intended that the salary required for the position will come from non-Exchequer funding.
Trinity’s board approved the departure from the existing pay scale to a level it deems appropriate for the candidate’s experience and expertise, according to the spokesperson.
“The board approved the use of the Departures Framework to offer a salary deemed appropriate for the candidate’s experience and expertise, conscious that the market for senior-level university appointments is highly competitive and talent is internationally mobile,” the spokesperson said.
Under the current framework, appointees to this position are entitled to remuneration of between €106,516 and €136,276.
An agreed framework between universities and the Higher Education Authority (HEA) allows for departures from approved levels of remuneration to enable a university to attract a person to its staff who would, because of exceptional or scarce expertise or qualifications, command remuneration higher than the norm, however.
In such instances, “clear and documented justification that the departure is necessary to meet the objectives of the university” is required.
The HEA has confirmed that this justification has not yet been received but that it has been requested.
A spokesperson for the university said the reporting mechanism would be adhered to and the HEA would receive this information by the end of July.
The Department of Education and Trinity College Students’ Union would not comment on the issue.
Students’ Union president, Tom Lenihan did say it was their understanding that the HEA had approved, and given its blessing to, the proposed salary.
A spokesperson for the department said that it had recently been made aware of the proposed salary and had requested a report from the HEA on the matter.
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