Magazine article Times Higher Education

£133,000 Paid to V-C on Abrupt Exit

Magazine article Times Higher Education

£133,000 Paid to V-C on Abrupt Exit

Article excerpt

Canterbury Christ Church University declines to disclose reasons for departure. Jack Grove reports

Canterbury Christ Church University has refused to give detailed reasons why it paid its former vice-chancellor £133,000 for "loss of office" after he quit with immediate effect.

Mystery still surrounds the sudden departure of Robin Baker from the Kent university in October 2012, with no explanation given for his exit.

At the time, a statement released by Canterbury said its governors had "accepted the resignation of the vice-chancellor" and agreed it would be "with immediate effect".

However, the university's annual accounts for 2012-13 show that Professor Baker, who took over at Canterbury in 2010, was paid £133,000 for "compensation for loss of office".

This sum was a "severance payment...based on his contractual entitlements and is in line with Higher Education Funding Council for England guidance", a Canterbury Christ Church spokeswoman said.

She declined to comment on whether Professor Baker, who was paid £203,000 in 2011-12, had been forced out at Canterbury, whose university motto is "the truth shall set you free".

Publicly available minutes from a meeting of the institution's governing council held in November 2012 also offer no clues.

The minutes state only that the clerk taking notes was asked to step outside the room "so the governors could discuss the matter privately".

Andrew Ironside, who was acting vice-chancellor at the university until the appointment of Rama Thirunamachandran in October 2013, later said "there was a need to look forward not backward" in regard to Professor Baker's departure, the minutes add. …

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