Leaders of Australia’s major universities have agreed on new salary standards. 

The new Australian Universities Vice-Chancellor and Senior Staff Remuneration Code calls for transparency and benchmark remuneration against other public sector leaders.

The code was approved at a recent University Chancellors Council (UCC) meeting, at which all 39 chancellors signed on.

The code will see the UCC report annually on universities’ adoption of the new terms, including their disclosure of incentives and bonuses offered to university leaders.

The code applies to chancellors, senior university staff such as deputy vice-chancellors, college and faculty heads and even those in senior non-academic roles such as chief operating officers and chief financial officers.

The UCC has agreed to commission annual reports that benchmark university executive salaries against other public sector organisations.

The new standards have been seen as an attempt by the university sector to respond to public and media hounding of its highly-paid chancellors. 

When the process began in 2018, there were many reports of salaries over $1 million being paid to vice-chancellors.

The median salaries of university vice-chancellors had declined in the 18 months since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and are now less than $1 million.