Huge salary 'out of our hands' says UL
A UNIVERSITY has blamed government pay scales for why the head of its medical school is one of the best paid academics in the country.
The University of Limerick (UL) is recruiting a new head of the Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) to replace out-going Professor Paul Finucane who steps down from the role next year.
His replacement will earn a yearly salary of between €231,653 and €241,539, with a 10pc reduction if the applicant is a new entrant to the public sector.
The salary is around €40,000 more than that of the university's president, Professor Don Barry.
The university said yesterday that it is not responsible for setting the salary of the new head of the GEMS.
"The head of the GEMS is at medical consultant level and the salary scales for medical consultants are set by the Government," said a spokeswoman.
"The salary costs associated with the head of the school are provided for in the grant for GEMS that is received from the Higher Education Authority (HEA)," she added.
There are currently five employees at UL earning between €200,000 and €250,000 per annum.
In the Dail last week, Education Minister Ruairi Quinn confirmed that of the 99 employees in the higher education sector earning over €200,000, 89 are academic medical consultants.
The GEMS was established in 2007 and is the first medical school to be founded since the establishment of the State and the first graduate entry medical school in Ireland.
The first 32 students graduated from the school this year and currently there are 366 students across the four years of the programme.
The school aims to increase its student numbers to 480 by 2014/15.
The spokeswoman said: "70pc of the students enrolled are currently Irish/EU students and 30pc international."
Irish/EU students pay annual fees of €13,915 while the HEA contributes an additional €11,000 to UL for each student. Non-EU students pay €38,500 per annum.