Sheffield university chiefs claim £90k expenses in four years

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Executives at Sheffield’s two universities claimed nearly £90,000 in expenses in the past four years - on top of their combined £3.8 million-a-year pay packets.

Among items claimed for are iPhones, stays at five-star hotels, meals out at Michelin-starred restaurants and membership to one of London’s most exclusive private clubs.

The figures, obtained as part of the Your Right to Know campaign, reveal expenses claims made by the two universities’ Executive Groups - made up of the Vice-Chancellor, the various Pro-Vice Chancellors, and other senior members of staff.

Sheffield University’s Executive Board, made up of 12 staff, claimed £31,260 over the last three years.

Sheffield Hallam’s Executive Group, which has 14 members, claimed £57,685 over five years.

The 2009/10 academic year was the most expensive for claims at The University of Sheffield.

A £1.40 bus ticket was claimed by the £250,000-a-year Vice Chancellor Keith Burnett - who also claimed £920 for his annual subscription to the exclusive Athenaeum Private Members Club on London’s Pall Mall.

A university spokesman said the Vice-Chancellor uses the club for university business only, and added: “The club provides a valuable venue in central London to host dignitaries and potential donors to the university. It provides a high-quality, central environment for confidential discussions and donor events.”

A Hallam spokesman said executives’ expenses have been decreasing year-on-year since 2006-7.

He added: “Our Executive Group members are expected to travel across the UK and sometimes abroad to conferences and meetings. Every effort is made to ensure costs are kept to a minimum.”