UCD academics are paid some of the highest salaries in the country as well as having greater pay packages than their international counterparts. This may be due to UCD being recently ranked low in international research tables and if the university provides higher salaries to researchers and academics this positioning can be improved.
UCD has 271 workers on six figures, with one member of staff having a salary of over 300,000 euro. Out of all the colleges and technological institutes in the country UCD has the highest number of employees on six figures. It could be argued that this is due to the university’s size but UCD’s figures are still not proportional to the other universities based on staff numbers. This means UCD is willing to pay their key staff more, this is most likely due to the value of these employees’ intellectual property as UCD strives to climb up in research rankings.
The former VP of Research in UCD Des Fitzgerald, who is now the president of UL, previously received a salary of 409,000 euro, however, this was dropped to 263,602 euro as the university came under pressure to justify his pay package. Such a high salary for VP of research emphasises the value UCD places on it. The fact the UCD had to justify such a pay package reminds us that UCD is a public institution.
If we compare UCD with the rest of Europe the results are intriguing. In countries such as France and Belgium, where most universities are also public institutions, such salaries are unheard of. French academics cannot expect to earn more than 100,000 euro due to their civil servant status; a similar story plays out in Belgium. Why do Irish academics have so many opportunities for high pay in public institutions? For this question I can only speculate that league tables matter immensely to Irish institutions.
However, comparing UCD’s salaries to its equivalents in the USA and Canada paints a wildly different picture. In the USA the average salary of a full professor exceeds $100,000, key researchers can expect over a million dollars in the USA. Such numbers are unheard of over here for our key researchers, mainly due to the public nature of our universities.
It seems UCD would love to pay their vital researchers and academics even larger salaries, as they have done so in the past. Perhaps in order to solidify UCD’s name as a great university for research. However, the book stops for now with the university’s public institution status.
Adam O’Sullivan – Reporter