The vice chancellor of Warwick University is set to leave his post at the end of next year after only being offered a six month extension to his current deal.
Professor Nigel Thrift will leave his role in 2015 after becoming the second longest serving vice chancellor in the university’s history.
His contract was due to expire midway through 2015, but university officials have offered him the chance to see out the university’s 50th anniversary year in post.
Prof Thrift, who took up his position in 2006, was the subject of vociferous protests in January as lecturers went on strike as it was revealed he had received a five per cent pay rise to £332,000 per year.
Other university workers claimed they had suffered a 13 per cent pay cut in real terms since 2008.
But university bosses have insisted the offer of a six month extension to his contract is a reward for Prof Thrift’s efforts rather than a measure to hasten his exit from the organisation in wake of the protests.
University spokesman Peter Dunn said: “Seven years in post is fairly typical for a vice chancellor.
“It was reported to our council a few months back that things were going as expected and Nigel was going to leave in the middle of 2015. That has always been the plan.
“But we wanted him there for our whole anniversary year so we have gone back to him and asked if he will stay with us.
“It is in his court to say whether he wants to do that, but we actually want him to stay longer.
“He has not approached us and asked us for an extension, it was offered as a gift to him for his success.
“He thought that we were honouring him, and we are honouring him, and we really hope he will accept. If he wasn’t so good, we would not have renewed his contract or given him salary increases. We have given him salary increases because we are confident in the man and his achievements.”
Mr Dunn also paid tribute to Prof Thrift for his service.
He said: “He has brought us to a position where we are confident enough to invest £250 million in the campus over the next five years.
“We are really sad to see him go and we think he is fantastic to work with. I’m in Australia at the moment but, when I get back, I hope to see one of the best bosses I have worked for say ‘yes I will stay’. That will make up for my jet lag.”