The former principal of the University of Aberdeen has been asked to return more than £100,000 after the university was found to have wrongly awarded the six-figure sum upon his retirement.

Sir Ian Diamond, who was principal at Aberdeen until 2018, revealed his plans to retire from the role in August 2017. 

He subsequently received £601,000 in remuneration for 2017-18, on top of a £60,000 payment for “outplacement support”.

In February this year, the University of Aberdeen returned the same amount of £119,000 after the Scottish Funding Council found that the settlement with professor Sir Ian Diamond was agreed upon without a proper assessment of value for money. 

READ MORE: Aberdeen University repays cash over principal pay-off

In essence, the university paid for two principals in 2018-19, with Sir Ian on “gardening leave” while his successor was in place and his 12-month notice period only beginning after he had left the post in 2018.

As a result, the university's governing body has now invited the ex-principal to "consider a repayment of the same amount to the university."

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Esther Roberton, senior governor at Aberdeen University, said: “Following publication of the Scottish Funding Council’s review into the payment made to the university’s former principal, a small internal working group was formed to undertake a review and address findings of that report.

“Court – the university’s governing body – met yesterday and considered the working group’s report. A series of actions to be taken by the university in response to the SFC report, around responsibilities, guidelines and governance procedures, were approved.

“Court also resolved that as the SFC had required the university to repay a proportion of its grant in respect of the settlement made to the former principal, we should invite him to consider a repayment of the same amount to the university. The university repaid £119,000 to the SFC in February.

“Decisions reported on in the SFC review were taken three years ago. Now the university has new leadership and is progressing with a new strategic vision.”