Members of James Cook University’s Council will be remunerated, bringing the University’s governing body into line with many other universities and not-for-profit organisations.
The JCU Council established a Council Remuneration Committee, chaired by a recognised governance expert independent of the University, with decision-making committee members external and independent of the Council.
The Committee unanimously agreed that remuneration be introduced from January 1st, 2021, given Council members’ workload, responsibilities and accountability had increased in line with enhanced governance expectations and requirements in recent years.
The Committee also found remuneration for governing bodies is now common across the Australian university sector, and many substantial not-for-profit organisations now have paid directors, aiding their ability to attract quality council and board members.
In Queensland, a number of universities already remunerate their Council and Committee members, and others are believed to be considering it, following clarification by the State Government in late 2017 that remuneration is possible.
Council and Committee members make a significant contribution to the community through their participation in the governance of the University, and remuneration is an acknowledgement of the service and depth of commitment of Council members.
Particularly at a disruptive time, such as the world is experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital to have highly skilled and experienced council members with a wide background of experience and qualifications.
The Committee identified a level of remuneration that they determined to be reasonable and appropriate as it is similar to or less than remuneration paid at other Queensland universities.
The Chancellor will receive $75,000 a year, and the Deputy Chancellor $37,500 per year. Other Council members will be paid a base rate of $25,000 per year, with supplementary payments if they are a Committee Chair or a Committee member. The Vice Chancellor and Chairperson of the Academic Board will not receive remuneration for their Council roles.
Members may choose not to be remunerated or may choose to use the value of their remuneration as professional development funds or donate to a student hardship fund.