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£350k salary, a rent-free flat, and £57k on travel expenses... how the man who ran a university rank

There are blatant self-publicists and then — somewhere in the stratosphere, way above the level of the average narcissist — there is Dominic Marcus Shellard.

The recently departed vice-chancellor of De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester was never a man to miss a self- publicising photo-opportunity, self-promoting YouTube appearance, self-congratulatory Tweet or indeed a selfie of any kind.

He was once witnessed roaming the campus, selfie stick in hand.

A flick through some of the university's annual accounts tells its own story. There, amid all those boring figures, you will find full-page portraits of Britain's youngest vice-chancellor staring up to heaven wearing a radiant smile. The only thing missing is a halo.

But now Shellard, 53, is facing allegations that his career at De Montfort has been far from saintly.

His sudden resignation earlier this year brought forth allegations concerning the use of university funds — public money derived mostly from student tuition fees — to finance a privileged lifestyle involving copious foreign travel and entertaining.

Added to this are accusations of bullying of staff and favouritism in the appointment of subordinates.

The Office For Students, the new regulator for higher education, is carrying out an investigation into 'governance and regulatory matters' that will be a test of its commitment to uncover abuses in the university system — particularly the grotesque 'fat cat' salaries paid to some vice-chancellors.

Just last month the Government warned universities that they can no longer expect to be bailed out if they overspend.

Data released this month showed that 32 out of 134 English universities posted a deficit in 2017-18, up from 24 the year before.

King of the campus: Former De Montfort University Vice-Chancellor Dominic Shellard, with the Queen. In mid-February, following a vote of no confidence by the executive board of DMU, the vice-chancellor disappeared from his post

Now, questions are being asked about how De Montfort, previously Leicester Polytechnic and hardly one of Britain's richest educational institutions, allowed Shellard to conduct himself so extravagantly during his eight-year term, repeatedly rewarding him with big bonuses and salary increases.

In the last full financial year, Shellard was awarded the biggest pay-rise of any head of a British university — one ranked 67th in the 2020 Complete University Guide.

The £64,000 increase boosted his annual pay packet to £350,000, more than twice the salary of the Prime Minister.

Rarely have the fusty, dusty corridors of British academia been adorned by so flamboyant a character as Professor Shellard.

How many vice-chancellors, after all, have led a mass flash mob while lip-syncing to Bonnie Tyler's 1984 hit Holding Out For A Hero?

Click on YouTube, and there is our Dominic, strutting his stuff, high-fiving an admiring crowd and trying only half successfully to jump in the air. This was a charity event that raised some £5,000 — but cost De Montfort £22,000.

Such a loss was mere chicken feed, however, compared with spending on foreign travel and entertaining as Shellard roamed the world to sell his university.

Via Daily Mail

My view: What a disgrace, the prime minister doesn't even earn that much. Who approves these salaries, Poor students paying high fees to fund such behaviour, shameful.

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