University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Rector: Managers should not get extra severance pay

In newsletter statement, Ralf Hemmingsen says managers should give up a controversial part of their salary

The Board of the University is to process a somewhat unusual request from the Rector’s Office today Tuesday: Rector proposes to change the rules so that future holders of his position, and other top managers effectively get less of a pay ‘bonus’ than he himself does.

His proposal: Top managers in the future cannot stay working, and get severance pay at the same time.

“Today the Board will discuss a proposal from the Rector’s Office on managers’ employment terms. We suggest a model, where you as a main rule, do not both get severance pay and a long-term ‘retiring’ position [tilbagegangsstilling, ed.] ” he says.

Affects department heads, deans, rectors

His proposal comes in the wake of a story that broke earlier this year: Rector Ralf Hemmingsen himself will receive a sizeable sum in severance pay, in spite of the fact that he has been re-hired for a new term.

His contract was termed a “theatre of the absurd” by labour market expert Flemming Ibsen from Aalborg University and the subheadings in his salary package were widely criticised. The University of Copenhagen, on the other hand, maintains that its practices are in line with other universities and that other top positions at, for example, government ministries also include severances.

The proposed changes will affect managers at Department Head, Dean and Rector levels.

Rector: Positions need to be attractive to researchers

In the statement that was sent out to a wide number of recipients in the Rector’s newsletter today Tuesday, Rector does not relate specifically to his own, already negotiated, salary package.

“We should maintain that it is important that managers are paid in a way that reflects the tasks and the responsibilities that follow their jobs. And thereby also indirectly the trust that ‘society’ has invested in universities. At the same time a managerial position at the University of Copenhagen, like for example Head of Department, should still be attractive to the best researchers,” Rector writes in his newsletter.

As reported previously, Ralf Hemmingsen’s salary is now just under DKK 2 million, including pension. In the new term, Rector’s salary is reduced to 1.7 million. Rector is hired until 2017.

Like us on Facebook for features, guides and tips on upcoming events. Follow us on Twitter for links to other Copenhagen academia news stories. Sign up for the University Post weekly newsletter here.