Vice Chancellor defends high salaries at University

The Vice Chancellor of the National University of Samoa, Professor Fui Asofou So’o, has defended the high salaries for senior staff at the institution.

For instance, the salary of a deputy Vice Chancellor is almost equivalent to that of a Ministry’s Chief Executive Officer.  

An advertisement published in August put the salary level of a deputy Vice Chancellor at $101,908 per annum plus benefits, which is pretty close to a Chief Executive Officer’s base salary of $112,000 - $115,000, depending on a ministry’s budgetary appropriation.

Asked why the salary of the Deputy Vice Chancellor and other senior position holders are relatively high compared to other Government bodies, Professor Fui said the salary of the deputy Vice Chancellor is determined by an individual’s qualifications and skills. 

Fui told the Samoa Observer that a deputy vice chancellor has a lot of work he or she oversees, hence why the salary is at this level.

“In comparing of salaries, I will leave other government organisations but I will compare it to the salary of the Vice Chancellor,” he said.

“The vice chancellor’s salary is $20,000 more than the deputy vice chancellor’s salary and it is the same as a C.E.O. salary of any government organisation.”

Fui also elaborated on the work the deputy Vice Chancellor is required to do. 

“Our university is such a massive one and in here the main objective behind the establishment of the university is to have the children’s education." 

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“The reason our university is here is because of the students and then comes another question what are the programmes that are being taught in the university?"  

“This is where we come in with traits or programme such as plumber, electrical and so forth and then we move on to another programme called foundation level, after that then we move on to the next level which is the ‘higher education’ where we talk bachelors, masters and P.H.D’s.”

Fui said when all of these programme are put together it requires a lot of work and it also requires someone who has the skills as well as the qualifications to handle the work.

He added this is also why the university has two deputy vice chancellors.

“There is a deputy vice chancellor in academic and research who deals with all the programmes that are being taught in the university,” he said.

“The deputy vice chancellor has to check whether these are the proper subjects for this programme and so forth."

Fui said the other deputy vice chancellor is for corporate services and the person deals with the students and whether each lecture rooms have enough desks, chairs etc. 

 “This deputy vice chancellor has to see whether the internet is okay whether it is connected to the broadband and whether there are people who have the skill in this area or not."

“There are also works that have been divided for example there is a division who deals with chairs and desks and they have their own director, there is the finance division and their director and so forth."

“So all these directors they work to ensure that the university is at its standards that people expected and all of them they are under the deputy vice chancellor in corporate services."

“So that is the workload that our deputy vice chancellors deal with.”

Fui said the increasing number of enrolments prompted the construction of new buildings.

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