Former principal asked to repay £119,000 to university

A working group has recommended Sir Ian Diamond should return the sum.

The former principal of the University of Aberdeen has been asked to return £119,000 of a pay-off he received.

Sir Ian Diamond was principal of the institution until 2018.

He revealed his intention to retire from the role in August 2017, and received £601,000 in remuneration for 2017-18, as well as a £60,000 payment for “outplacement support”.

Earlier this year, the university repaid £119,000 to the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) after it was found to have failed to make a proper assessment of value for money with the payment.

The university paid for two principals in 2018-19, the SFC noted, with Sir Ian on “gardening leave” while his successor was in place.

A working group set up by the university’s governing body has recommended asking Sir Ian to return £119,000.

Esther Roberton, senior governor at Aberdeen University, said: “Following publication of the Scottish Funding Council’s review into the payment made to the university’s former principal, a small internal working group was formed to undertake a review and address findings of that report.

“Court – the university’s governing body – met yesterday and considered the working group’s report. A series of actions to be taken by the university in response to the SFC report, around responsibilities, guidelines and governance procedures, were approved.

“Court also resolved that as the SFC had required the university to repay a proportion of its grant in respect of the settlement made to the former principal, we should invite him to consider a repayment of the same amount to the university. The university repaid £119,000 to the SFC in February.

“Decisions reported on in the SFC review were taken three years ago. Now the university has new leadership and is progressing with a new strategic vision.”

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