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Prof's arrogance over £250k salary pathetic

The transformation in your opinion of Professor Patrick Johnston over a 48-hour period is really quite remarkable.

After treating him as some kind of latter-day saint last Monday, a greater sense of realism was evident on Wednesday, when you became aware of the degree of antagonism that had arisen from both staff and students alike regarding his offensive remarks about the "21-year-old sixth-century historian".

Although he has been so embarrassed by the adverse publicity that he was forced to issue a grovelling apology, many Belfast Telegraph readers may have overlooked another topic in his interview, which has so far escaped comment.

While £250,000 may well be the going rate for the annual salary of a vice-chancellor, it is very conceited for him to claim that he could achieve a multiple of this huge salary if he left the university.

If this true, then cancer research - the field in which he has established his reputation - must be extremely well-paid.

Most of the public are sufficiently naive to believe that the majority of those involved in cancer research do so for altruistic motives, rather than for personal enrichment.

Even if Professor Johnston's claims are true (which I very much doubt), he displays an unbelievable arrogance in making them in such a manner.

Personally, I think that you should advise this man that he should stay out of the media spotlight and avoid self-promotion for the foreseeable future.

His tenure at Queen's University is truly remarkable in his unique ability to antagonise both staff and students.


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