University of the Sunshine Coast Vice Chancellor and President Professor Greg Hill.
University of the Sunshine Coast Vice Chancellor and President Professor Greg Hill. Warren Lynam

Coast uni boss salary tops $740,000

UNIVERSITY boss Professor Greg Hill earned between $740,000 and $750,000 according to the Coast-based facility's annual report.

The University of the Sunshine Coast Vice Chancellor's salary as well as figures showing the university's student growth were detailed in the recently released 2017 document.

It showed student numbers jumped by more than 16 per cent from the 2016 total of 11,602 to 13,492 last year.

They were made up of 8453 female students, 5034 male students and five students who identified as other.

Professor Hill said in the report the university had twice as many students as it had in 2009 and three as many as what it had in 2005.

"Enrolments continue to grow and indicate a strong trajectory toward achieving our strategic goal of achieving 20,000 students by 2020," Professor Hill said.

Growth was recorded at the university's Sippy Downs, Fraser Coast, Gympie and Southbank locations as well as at international study locations in Sydney and Melbourne.

Professor Hill said this year's transfer of Queensland University of Technology's Caboolture campus to University of the Sunshine Coast was further evidence of growth.

The move is expected to give the university a strong presence in the Moreton Bay region ahead of the 2020 opening of its Petrie campus.

The annual report also showed a significant rise of 43 per cent in research income last year when compared to 2016.

It equated to $21.79 million, up from $15.2 million the previous year.

Research achievement highlights included a $293,000 grant for molecular microbiologist Professor Adam Polkinghorne to develop new tools for the detection of chlymdia in sheep, a condition which threatens Australia's billion dollar live export industry.

Meanwhile, Dr Andew Marshall of the Tropical Forests and People Research Centre was granted $900,000 to assess the impact of liana vines and their removal on forest restoration.

The university wants to grow its research income to $29,000,000 a year by 2020.

Other highlights from the year included welcoming former defence force chief Sir Angus Houston as Chancellor. He took over from John Dobson, who retired in March last year after nearly 20 years of service to the university council.

Operations also began at the Sunshine Coast Health Institute at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, within which the university has a teaching role.

Professor Hill said it was not appropriate for him to discuss his salary, saying it was set by the university council, led by Chancellor Sir Angus Houston.

His salary was not as high as some other Queensland university bosses, whose annual pay topped $1 million.

A university spokeswoman said it was necessary to pay an industry-standard salary to keep a quality vice-chancellor.

"Australian universities are large and complex organisations that exist in a highly competitive and regulated environment," the spokeswoman said.

"To put the salaries of vice-chancellors in context, you really need to compare them with those of business executives of organisations of the same size and complexity.

"The salaries of vice-chancellors are set by university councils, which provide specific performance targets for vice-chancellors to meet within specific timeframes."

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