£300,000-a-year university principal resigns after rent row

Professor Andrew Atherton had been suspended for alleged non-payment of rent.

Resigned: Professor Andrew Atherton. <strong>University of Dundee/STV</strong>
Resigned: Professor Andrew Atherton. University of Dundee/STV

The principal of Dundee University has resigned following his suspension over alleged non-payment of rent.

Professor Andrew Atherton took up the £300,000-a-year role on January 1 after moving from Lancaster University.

He also received a £40,000 “disruption allowance” to help with the move.

Professor Atherton was suspended from his role in September for allegedly failing to pay rent on accommodation provided to him by the university.


An independent investigation was launched into the allegations, and on Friday the university confirmed his departure.

A spokesman said: “The University of Dundee has announced the departure of Professor Andrew Atherton, principal and vice-chancellor.

“In the short time that Prof Atherton has been with the university he has shown a commitment to excellence.

“His broad experience has brought fresh ideas, a focus on sustainability and a drive to further enhance the university’s national and global standing.


“However, it has become apparent that the university’s vision for its future and the values it holds are different to the aspirations of Prof Atherton.

“He has therefore decided to step down so that the university can continue to pursue its current strategy.

“The university executive group is managing the university’s affairs and will continue to do so.”

Professor Atherton’s remuneration package reportedly included a £254,000 salary and pension contributions.

The university spokesman added that all payments made to Prof Atherton were in compliance with the Scottish Funding Council’s financial memorandum.

At Lancaster University, which he joined in 2013, he was deputy vice-chancellor and professor of enterprise.

Before that he was senior deputy vice-chancellor at Lincoln University, and he also previously worked at Durham University.

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