The decision yesterday to sack two lecturers in Victoria University’s International Relations programme to make way for new “themes” in the programme based around Security Studies and the Asia-Pacific region will lend urgency to a meeting of staff, students, University Council members and MPs scheduled for 4pm today 18 August at the University’s MacLaurin Lecture Theatre.
“We can’t tell exactly who will be attending the meeting other than students and staff at this stage,” says Tertiary Education Union organiser, Michael Gilchrist, “but we see the current changes as a watershed issue for the future direction of the university.”
“There is no question of a lack of funds or student demand in the programme. On the contrary, an additional investment is being made. But younger staff attempting to raise a family and build an academic career, are losing their jobs.”
“We are particularly concerned that the university’s Academic and Faculty Boards, representing students and staff, have not been consulted and that recent resignations in the programme have not been used to avoid making staff redundant.”
“Likewise, students see the alarming implications for the courses they are taught, the relationships they have with lecturers and their plans for progression within disciplines if possible changes in management thinking can have this kind of effect.”