The highest-paid vice-chancellor in the country has narrowly won over a motion of no-confidence.
Dame Glynis Breakwell, vice-chancellor at the University of Bath, has faced criticism over her salary of £468,000.
Some 350 staff called for her resignation at University and College Union meeting on Wednesday.
A later university senate meeting saw Dame Glynis beat a motion of no confidence by 19 votes to 16, with two abstentions.
In a message to the senate, the university’s academic governing body, Dame Glynis said: “I think the university as a whole must now come together to shape a transparent and justifiable way to set senior pay.”
She also apologised for voting on a motion about her own pay in February, saying it would not happen again.
Dame Glynis’s salary has been in the public eye after comments were made about her pay in the House of Lords by Lord Adonis.
Three MPs also resigned their roles at the university in protest.
Dr Michael Carley, president of the University and College Union said: “It’s very little, very late. We’ve been raising these concerns for years and we’ve been completely ignored.
“I was at that [senate] meeting, the students’ union expressed no-confidence in her. There was no great mood or enthusiasm for her continued management of the university.
“If you ask ordinary staff, we’ve had enough.”