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Bangor University vice-chancellor led five-star lifestyle while staff face axe

BANGOR UNIVERSITY vice-chancellor Professor John Hughes has been accused of enjoying a “luxury lifestyle” with a salary of £245,000 while the institution plans to sack up to 60 low-paid staff.

He lives in rent-free “five-star grace-and-favour” accommodation and has enjoyed first-class trips to countries including China, according to public service union Unison.

The accommodation was bought and refurbished at a cost of £750,000 to the Welsh university.

Professor Hughes is to take early retirement at the end of December.

The university faces a £5 million cut in its budget.

Among the jobs expected to go are security staff responsible for the safety of students, Unison said.

Unison Cymru regional organiser Wendy Allison said: “Support staff work as hard as they can to make Bangor a success.

“Rather than stabilising the university, slashing jobs will instead turn off students of the future if they think the campus is less safe and there is less interest in promoting student welfare.

“When you consider what Bangor University contributes to the local economy and for Wales, it’s essential to protect the quality of education and student support and we’ll work hard with the university to achieve those aims.

“The new vice chancellor must have a vision to make Bangor a great educational institution.

“There’s no doubt, the five-star, grace-and-favour accommodation and first-class overseas travel of the current Vice Chancellor has caused resentment amongst low pay staff threatened with redundancy.

“The staff trade unions must be allowed to help shape the direction of Bangor going forward.”

Professor Hughes took up his post at the university in 2010. He was not due to retire until August next year, but the date was brought forward after e-mails were circulated to staff that are believed to have been about his private life.

In 2016, his wife was appointed to a newly created senior management position in a move that created controversy.

The Morning Star contacted Professor Hughes’s office requesting a comment, but none was received at the time of going to press.

 

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