The salad days of research funding riches have failed to materialise at the University of Liverpool – whose estimable vice chancellor Sir Howard Newby (formerly of this parish whilst cost-cutting at the University of the West of England) may be familiar to readers due to his involvement in the silencing of critical blogs – where a deficit of rising £14 million has emerged.
As the Times Higher Education puts it:
The University of Liverpool was more than £15 million out in its financial forecasts for the past academic year, accounts reveal.
The university had expected to end the year to July 2009 with a surplus of £2.3 million. However, when the accounts were collated an overall deficit of £13.2 million emerged.
…Liverpool’s financial statements say most of the deficit was due to lower than budgeted research income.
Of course, heads must roll, so naturally Michael Yuille*, the director of finance on whose watch this occurred, has helpfully fallen on his sword – which should help insulate the capo di tutti capi from the fallout from this… for the time being, at least.
Though, as THE notes “about 200 staff, most of whom were in non-academic positions, took voluntary severance last year at a cost of £3.98 million.”
A spokesman for the University and College Union at Liverpool questioned whether senior staff pay may be partly responsible for the state of the university’s finances.
Some 112 members of staff earned more than £100,000 last year, up from 88 the year before, and the university paid senior staff £324,000 in compensation for loss of office.
As an avid bean counter himself, Sir Howard has continued to exercise the passion for trimming personnel at Liverpool which he first showed such flair for whilst running UWE, though clearly not at the highest reaches of the organisation. Perhaps someone knows of a management consultancy that might be able to help?
* Students will no doubt be ecstatic to learn that the number-troubled Mr Yuille appears to have scored a new job… At the Student Loans Company.