Shellard’s salary rose from £286,000 in 2016-17 to £350,000 in 2017-18, when De Montfort University was ranked 82nd in the country by the Complete University Guide.
Prof Shellard, who had led the university since 2010, quit after the Office for Students, the sector’s watchdog, said it was “looking into a number of regulatory matters” at De Montfort. The university had reported “an issue” to the office “in the autumn,” the regulator said.
The OFS added there was “no presumption of wrongdoing by the university” and De Montfort said it was “happy to co-operate fully” with the investigation. The resignation is the third sudden departure of a vice-chancellor from a UK university in the past few months.
Swansea University’s Professor Richard Davies, was suspended in November pending an investigation over an alleged conflict of interest.
Prof Davies denies any wrongdoing. Professor Nigel Weatherill, vice-chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University, resigned in September with immediate effect, with little explanation given.
Prof Shellard’s resignation came after several days of speculation about his future and the confirmation that the university’s chair of governors, Ian Blatchford, had secretly resigned.
Under Prof Shellard’s leadership, De Montfort boasted about being one of the fastest-growing institutions in higher education.