Spending by university bosses is revealed
Top brass at Staffordshire University spent more than £2,300 on hospitality at a private members’ club over two years.
Current and past bosses splashed out £2,350.15 over 24 visits to the Stoke-based The Potters’ Club.
The club was opened for pottery company directors to entertain guests including royalty, but has since extended its membership to professionals.
It features a restaurant and cocktail bar as well as rooms for meetings. The club made up almost half of the total ‘hospitality’ spend by university chiefs, which was £5,178.84 over 79 credit card transactions. They took place from 1 August 2015 to 31 July 2017.
The university said spending on hospitality led to forming academic and business partnerships which brought ‘huge benefits’. The spending was uncovered following a Freedom of Information Act request.
It asked for expenses from bosses, which included vice-chancellor Professor Liz Barnes, who is on a £198,525 salary. She made eight visits to The Potters’ Club, spending a total of £542.30.
Expenses were also made available for former deputy vice chancellors Allan Howells and Rosy Crehan, and current deputy vice chancellor Martin Jones.
The university spokesman said: “Staffordshire University, like many other universities, has partnerships with businesses, academic institutions and organisations locally, nationally and internationally.
"These partnerships bring huge benefits to our students by giving them placement and work experience opportunities and allow our lecturers to carry out cutting-edge research which has worldwide impact and changes lives.
"Establishing and maintaining effective partnerships requires some travel and hospitality expenses.
"All travel requests are evaluated on a cost /benefit basis and aligned to our strategic plan which is approved by our Governing body, including student representatives.”