UPDATE: On February 13, The Times reported that Dominic Shellard “held shares in a holding company run by Anthony Stockdale, chairman of the [university] remuneration committee.” The company in question was the influencial accountancy firm, Metamorph Group, which is chaired by Mr Stockdale. Professor Shellard “became a shareholder at some point between October 2016 and October 2017” and Mr Stockdale was the individual who “approved the 22.4 per cent rise for Professor Shellard, from £286,000 to £350,000.”
Stealing an annual windfall of £350,000 is something that one tends to expect from the type of individual whose mug shot gets a feature on the frontpage of the Financial Times. But all the same I am sure Professor Dominic Shellard was not particularly happy that his cheery face appeared on the latest copy of the prestigious newspaper. This is because the article was not merely a simple celebration of his resplendent salary, or his recent £64,000 pay rise, but was instead concerned his resignation as the vice-chancellor of Leicester’s De Montfort University “following the launch of an investigation by regulators” (February 12).
Intriguingly the article observed that “Prof Shellard’s resignation comes ahead of the publication on Tuesday of a report by the OFS [the Office for Students, the sector’s watchdog] on the pay and perks of senior members of university staff in England.” We will clearly have to wait till the morning to hear more about the significance of this report.
Either way, the article still pointed out:
“Prof Shellard’s resignation came after several days of speculation about his future and the confirmation on Friday that the university’s chair of governors, Ian Blatchford, had resigned. Sir Ian subsequently told a Leicestershire news site that he had resigned in November, a departure that the university did not announce.
“Under Prof Shellard’s leadership, De Montfort boasted about being one of the fastest-growing institutions in higher education. It invested heavily in new buildings, including a continuing £136m investment in its campus in the centre of Leicester. The OFS did not elaborate on the precise nature of the issue it was investigating.
“However, the University and College Union, which represents higher education teaching staff, said the incident showed the time had come for a shake-up of governance at universities.”
One can only wonder if this forthcoming shake-up is in any way connected with De Montfort University’s decision to bestow an honour for service to equality to David Cameron, or whether it is connected to Prof Shellard’s personal involvement with the 2011 decision to award the Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby with a £44,000 pay rise (a decision that Soulsby was ultimately forced to reject). We shall await the details of the investigation with baited breath.