$3m for Newcastle uni executives

THE salary packages paid to executives at the University of Newcastle have been made freely available to the public for the first time in its latest annual report.

The report, tabled in State Parliament this week, showed the university made a healthy $31.7million profit in 2010, but that was down from $40million the year before.

Vice-chancellor Nick Saunders was paid a salary of $617,859 in 2010, performance pay of $119,394 plus performance pay from 2009 of $55,265.

In total it was a pay packet more than twice that of the prime minister.

Deputy vice-chancellor academic and global relations Kevin McConkey was paid $489,623, deputy vice-chancellor research Michael Calford was paid $386,613, and deputy vice-chancellor services Sue Gould was paid $410,931.

The report noted Chancellor Trevor Waring assessed Professor Saunders’ overall performance in 2010 as ‘‘outstanding’’ and that Professor Saunders successfully met the criteria in his performance agreement.

Overall the university spent at least $3.5million paying its top 10 senior executives in 2010.

The Newcastle Herald first sought such information in 2007. The National Tertiary Education Union successfully had the information released earlier this year under Government Information Public Access laws.

The university’s annual report showed in 2010 it spent almost $16million on travel, staff development and entertainment, $3.3million on advertising, marketing and promotion but obtained more than $23million worth of free publicity.

It made more than $2million from parking fees, $644,000 from music tuition, and $170,000 from library fines. It received $546million in revenue, including $61million from overseas student fees and $7.7million from student accommodation.

It got $326million from the federal government in grants and HECS fees and a further $10million from the student portion of HECS fees.

It made $12.2million from its investments, up from 2009.

Its enrolments numbers topped 35,500 across its campuses including more than 27,600 domestic and 7800 international students in Australia and at its overseas campuses.

More than a quarter of students come from low socio-economic backgrounds, well above sector average.

The complaints office received 215 complaints, 88 were deemed formal and 44 were upheld.

The university noted its revenue increased 9.1per cent in 2010, mainly because of extra government-funded places.

Professor Saunders said the strong results in 2010 reflected the university’s significant efforts to consolidate its financial foundations.

‘‘We are in a prime position to make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead,’’ he said.