Students at Warwick Are Furious After The Former VC Was Given a £92k Farewell

News that Warwick’s former Vice-Chancellor, Nigel Thrift, who recently left the head position with a £92,000 farewell pay package has sparked outrage from the SU and students at the university.

Thrift, who had been VC since 2006, had a turbulent relationship with students in recent years, and was the first university boss since 1970 to receive a vote of no confidence from the SU. Students repeatedly protested Thrift’s salary, which reached over £340,000 by the end of his term, and in March last year he was recorded calling students “yobs”.

The latest news that a Renumeration Committee has awarded Thrift £92,000 has resulted in the SU releasing a statement and starting an online petition. 

The current financial climate is extremely difficult for students and staff alike,” it reads. “It is for this reason that being told that our former Vice-Chancellor, Nigel Thrift, received a voluntary gift of £92,000 from a three-man Remuneration Committee is extremely difficult to take.”

The statement goes on to suggest what else the £92,000 could have been spent on, including three full-time student mental health workers, bursaries for junior doctors or bursaries for students from low-income backgrounds.

“At a time when staff have been told repeatedly that there is no money available for pay-rises in line with basic inflation… such an appropriation represents an astonishing misjudgement.”

The petition, which calls for Thrift to reject the money, amongst other demands, has today reached over 500 signatures and supporters have been expressing their anger.

“Are you actually kidding me?” reads one comment. “92 grand for the man who refused to pay postgrad teachers even an equivalent to the minimum wage. Who refused to say sorry to pepper-sprayed students.”

Another comment reads: “Completely and utterly wrong. Most staff at Warwick have seen a real terms pay cut since 2008, and Nigel is “rewarded” with an entirely voluntary payment. This is completely out of touch.”

You can view the petition here.