Prof goes public on Lincoln ‘crisis’

Posted By TEU on Jun 19, 2014 | 1 comment


Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 19

TEU national secretary Sharn Riggs says TEU members nationwide will be supporting Professor Keith Woodford, who has taken the rare step of writing publicly on what he calls a “crisis” at Lincoln University.

In a Sunday Star Times story the farm management and agribusiness academic highlighted the impact of the university’s “remarkable” restructurings and redundancies, which are occurring even in land-based subject areas.

Keith Woodford challenged the spending of millions of dollars on marketing as Lincoln sheds “academic and other positions in an attempt to balance the books”. He wrote that “this year the situation at Lincoln has reached crisis point”. It follows the largest review of qualifications in the university’s history.

Sharn Riggs has commended Keith Woodford for speaking up about the situation at Lincoln. “Keith is not alone in being really concerned about management’s approach. There is a definite climate of fear, and he is brave to blow the whistle on nonsensical cuts,”

“I encourage every staff member, union or not, to call out poor decisions where they see them. This is about academic freedom and having a say in the institutions we build up every day. No vice-chancellor should think they’re above critique, they must be accountable.” said Sharn Riggs.

Unfortunately, for the Lincoln staff, it seems the restructuring and redundancies are not over. Following this year’s rounds of job losses, Andrew West announced that the university would not be offering general commerce in the future.

Keith Woodford’s article follows recent findings from a TEU survey which shows three out of five tertiary education workers believe their jobs will be restructured within the next two years, and 30 percent believe they will be made redundant.

You can read more of Keith Woodford’s writings here.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

1. 90-day law an all-round failure

2. Unitec’s grand designs raise big questions

3. Union to hold inaugural conferences

Other news

Steven Joyce admits ACE schools down 90% since 2009 in answer to Labour’s Megan Woods in Parliament – Parliament TV

PSA Members striking at MBIE – Manawatu Standard

VUW students closer to fairer bus fares – The Dominon Post

Steven Joyce announces India-NZ Research grants – The Beehive

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