Board approves pay cap breach

College spokesperson disputes reports of €150,000 salary offer

The Board of Trinity College has approved a salary offer above the standard scale for the incoming Professor of Business Studies, Trinity News has learned.

The offer is understood to be significantly above the approved annual rate for professors under the current salary scales for College employees.

Professors appointed on or after April 1995 are currently entitled to a remuneration in line with a six-point scale ranging from €106,516 to €136,276.

Provost Patrick Prendergast sought approval of the salary in an internal memorandum circulated to Board members on 28th May, the same day that the decision was approved at a Board meeting.

He said College had advised the Higher Education Authority (HEA) of its intentions following interviews for the appointment on 29th April.

Prendergast reassured Board members that the offer is compliant with The Universities Act 1997 Agreed Framework between the Universities and the Higher Education Authority for Departures from Approved Levels of Remunerations, Fees, Allowances and Expenses for University Employees.

The legislation in question allows university to offer salaries above standard levels where there is “clear and documented justification” that the departure is required to meet the objectives of the university and that it will have no adverse consequences on the university sector.

Prendergast stated that the preferred candidate had been offered a salary in the range of €220,000 by another European business school and would not be attracted to the position without a departure from approved salary levels.

The pay arrangement has been approved for a period of five years, with the option to renew for a further five years, at which point the appointee may revert to standard pay arrangements.

In a statement to Trinity News today, a spokesperson for College said that Board “was informed that a counter-offer from an overseas institution was on the table.”

“It should be noted that the College faces competition from higher education institutions globally to attract leading faculty, and this is, in part, related to variations in available pay levels. It is important that Trinity continues to attract top faculty so that the College can remain globally competitive and create value for Ireland through world-class education and research,” the statement said.

The spokesperson disputed reports that the candidate had been offered a salary in the region of €150,000. “There is no agreed salary, and it is subject to negotiation between the College and the preferred candidate,” he said.

It is understood that the salary required for this position will come from non-Exchequer funds.

The appointment comes after the November announcement of a major expansion of the School of Business. The €70 million project will see the building of a new Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub, located within the new premises for the School of Business on Pearse Street, to provide space for prototyping and company incubation projects.

The new Professor of Business Studies is expected to play a leading role in the strategic development and expansion of the School. The position has been vacant since 2010.

Catherine Healy

Editor of Trinity News. Interested in politics, history and all forms of media.