Staff anger at TCD decision to award professor salary above agreed pay scale

The decision by the board of Trinity College to award a salary in excess of the agreed pay scale to the incoming professor of business studies has caused significant disquiet among current staff members, the Irish Examiner has learned.

The board approved a salary for the incoming Professor (who this newspaper has learned is Professor Andrew Burke of Cranfield University in Bedford, England) believed to be in the region of €185,000.

This figure is in excess of the agreed maximum pay limits.

This level of remuneration would represent a top-up payment of approximately €50,000, despite the suggestion that Mr Burke would not stand for election for head of the business school within the expected time-frame.

A college spokesperson said that “the job specification for the professor of business makes clear that the professor would seek election as head of school ‘at an appropriate time’.”

The full wording of the requirement however is that the newly-appointed professor would “stand for election to the position of head of school at an appropriate time early in his/her tenure, in accordance with college regulations”.

Furthermore, it is understood that this is generally taken to mean that election would be sought at the earliest opportunity and that this was “certainly the expectation” of current faculty members.

The additional level of remuneration above the agreed pay limits, which the college has said it intends to finance from non-Exchequer funding, would represent a top-up that is greater than the entire salary of some junior members of staff.

This, along with the perception that the external appointment reflects a lack of confidence in current staff, has contributed to the disquiet within Trinity, it is understood.

Students are also thought to be unhappy with the level of remuneration offered to Prof Burke in light of a steady increase in non-Exchequer funding over the last few years — some of which has been generated from higher student fees.

The appointment details for the vacancy stated that the appointment would be made on the professor salary scale at a point that is in line with current government pay policy.


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