Huge pay packets of Uni bosses revealed
UNIVERSITY boffins on million-dollar salaries will be forced to slash spending this year as coronavirus cuts revenues by as much as 20 per cent.
The University of Queensland will lose up to $200 million in fees from foreign students this year, after the federal government closed the borders last month.
"The university's 2020 revenue may be negatively impacted by an estimated $100-$200 million,'' UQ states in its annual report.
"This estimate assumes the travel ban is lifted before Semester 2.
"The university retains sufficient cash reserves to absorb any revenue impact.''
The report reveals that UQ vice-chancellor Peter Hoj - who will retire in June - pocketed a $1.2 million salary package last year.
Foreign students paid $679 million to UQ in 2019 - with 78 per cent from China, Singapore, Malaysia, the United States, Hong Kong and India.
UQ was criticised for its "over-reliance'' on Chinese students in a Centre for Independent Studies report last year that warned the uni risked a taxpayer-funded bailout if the market collapsed.
A UQ spokeswoman yesterday would not say if the university would freeze executive salaries, in line with many big companies in the private sector.
"UQ took steps early to reduce operating costs and postponed capital expenditure due to anticipated impact of COVID-19 on revenue,'' she said.
"The impact is likely to continue for Semester 2, and into next year.''
UQ's annual report, tabled in state parliament this week, reveals that one executive earned more than $780,000, another earned more than $750,000, one was paid more than $660,000 and two earned more than $660,000.
The high-flying academics earn far more than Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is paid $550,000 a year.
Griffith University has lost between 10 and 20 per cent of its revenue through the foreign student lockout - equivalent to a loss of $100 million to $200 million of its $1 billion income.
Griffith vice-chancellor Carolyn Evans will freeze her salary, which was $850,000 to $865,000 last year.
"The university's executive group has already applied a pay freeze to themselves,'' a spokesman said yesterday.
"An early estimate of the 2020 financial impact on the university is a loss of somewhere between 10-20 per cent of the university's annual revenue.
"We are considering what further steps we might need to take, including looking at executive salaries.''
Griffith University reaped $194 million from foreign students last year.
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) vice-chancellor Margaret Sheil earned between $1.18 million and $1.19 million last year.
QUT's annual report does not identify individuals but one executive was paid at least $750,000, another was paid $640,000 and two earned at least $500,000.
"As we work through the full impact of this crisis on the university and our students, all our expenditure will be under consideration including executive pay,'' a QUT spokeswoman said yesterday.
QUT enrolled nearly 10,000 international students, who paid $245 million in fees, last year.
University of Southern Queensland vice-chancellor Geraldine Mackenzie - who earned between $675,000 and $690,000 last year - has pledged to donate this year's salary increase to the student support fund.
USQ chancellor John Dornbusch said USQ was "well placed to weather the current storm''.
"We have a strong balance sheet, nil net debt and cash reserves which will see us through,'' Professor Dornbusch said.
"We also have a comparatively low exposure to the international student market.''
James Cook University (JCU) vice-chancellor Sandra Harding was paid between $975,000 and $990,000 last year.
A JCU spokesman said Professor Harding had not asked for a bonus payment in 2019.
"The university is considering a range of measures to respond to the coronavirus pandemic,'' he said.
"Given the uncertainty surrounding the duration of the pandemic and its overall impact, it is difficult at this stage to assess its likely impact on the university's finances.''
JCU's annual report shows it received $142 million from international students last year.
University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) vice-chancellor Greg Hill was paid $840,000 to $850,000 last year.
A spokesman said executives would not take a pay cut during the coronavirus crisis.
USC is expected to lose $29 million in revenue this year.
Central Queensland University vice-chancellor Nicholas Klomp earned $675,000 to $690,000 last year, the university's annual report reveals.
Professor Klomp said CQ University had frozen all executive pay rises and was looking at "additional measures to reduce costs''.
"The University is working closely with both State and Federal Governments to consider appropriate avenues for future funding assistance,'' he said.
Originally published as Huge pay packets of Uni bosses revealed