POSSIBLE bonuses for executive staff members at Wits would only bring those salaries up to the industry average. So says University Council chairperson Randal Carolissen.
Carolissen told Wits Vuvuzela in an interview that Wits executives earn in the 30th to 40th percentile, compared to other university executives who earn much more. The bonuses, if they were awarded, would bring them up to the 50th percentile, approximately a median salary.
“I think they are well paid, but in the private sector they would be paid much more,” Carolissen said.
Last week, Wits Vuvuzela reported that the University Council was considering paying executive staff members up to 20% of their salaries as a performance bonus. The bonuses could cost up to R3-million.
But Carolissen said that compared to the corporate sector, a CEO with 30 000 “clients”, the number of students Wits has, would be paid a much larger salary compared to Vice Chancellor Adam Habib.
The bonuses are required in order for Wits to remain competitive with other universities as vice chancellor positions in South Africa are very competitive.
Carolissen said that if executive bonuses were to be removed and the executives paid one lump amount to bring them up to the average, it would be more costly.
“If you remove the bonuses and just give them the 50% it will cost the university more,” said Carolissen.
The system of awarding bonuses ensures that the university remains competitive while also ensuring that executives perform adequately.
Performance bonuses are made using “a university-wide scorecard” which details performances of each executive. The scorecard is then presented to council which will either agree or disargee with the scorecard.
Carolissen said that the vice chancellor and other executive staff members play no role in deciding whether or not their own scorecards are satsfactory.
“If the score is below the threshold [the executive] doesn’t get their bonus,” he said.
Furthermore, Carolissen said, executive performance will indicate the percentage of the bonus they will receive.
The renumeration committee and the chair of council then come to a final amount. However, this final amount is not paid out in full in case there is an inaccuracy on the scorecard or an auditing problem.
Carolissen added that in the past, some of the executives had anonymously donated a part of their bonuses to the university.
Wits Vuvuzela Wits considering paying execs up to R3-mn in bonuses April 2016