La Trobe University executives take pay cut to share the budget pain

La Trobe University senior executives have cut their own pay to grapple with "a very significant loss of revenue" as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The university is already expecting to lose between $120 to $150 million in revenue this year, out of its budgeted revenue of $850 million.

La Trobe University vice-chancellor and president, Professor John Dewar.Credit:Jeremy Piper

Senior executives have agreed to take a 20 per cent pay cut between April 25 and July 3 to "share the pain", La Trobe announced on Thursday night.

"Of this, 10 per cent will be donated to the La Trobe Student Crisis Appeal, and the remainder will accrue as savings to the university budget," the statement said.

The salary cut will be reviewed in June and continued if required.

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor John Dewar said staff needed to share the burden to avoid "a significant cost-cutting exercise".

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"Although we are a stable and successful University, the profound impact of COVID-19 on the higher education sector, including La Trobe, requires extraordinary measures," Professor Dewar said.

"Preliminary estimates of the revenue deficit in 2020 range from $120 million to $150 million, from a budgeted revenue of $850 million. While the impacts at La Trobe may not be as severe as some other Australian universities, we will soon be facing a simple choice: 'share the pain' across the organisation's staff or implement a significant cost-cutting exercise.

"We believe that a short-term financial sacrifice will support long-term sustainability and ensure that we can continue to provide high quality, innovative teaching and learning and world-leading, high impact research."

The university statement said senior executives were grateful to staff who had asked what they couldsigni do to help, and a number of options were being considered.

Universities were hit by the China travel ban weeks before Australia began a slowdown to contain the virus.

The senior executive members have already donated more than $50,000 to the student crisis appeal, La Trobe said.

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