Staff at the University of Otago are deeply concerned about the impact Vice-Chancellor Harlene Hayne’s plan to cut 182 full time equivalent jobs will have on students and the university’s ability to continue providing world class learning opportunities.
Hayne told staff at a meeting earlier this afternoon that she is planning a massive shake-up in the way support services are delivered at the university. Under Hayne’s plans, vital support services, such as student advice and support, would be cut from individual departments and replaced by more standardised services.
Hayne has been told that the consequences of losing nearly two hundred general staff would soon be felt in the classroom. General staff are vital to the current and future success of the institution and the loss of so many will put the university’s reputation as a centre of world-class research and teaching at risk, Hayne was told.
Shaun Scott, organiser of the Tertiary Education Union branch at the University, said:
“Our members are naturally concerned about what these proposals will mean for themselves and their families. But equally, they are extremely worried about the risks posed to the institution. The scale of what Professor Hayne is planning will significantly and detrimentally impact on the work carried out by general staff. This will negatively impact on the service required to deliver high quality teaching and learning, research and student support.
“Our members will be working together to do everything they can to highlight the detrimental impact Professor Hayne’s plans will have, not only on staff but on future generations of students too.
Today’s announcement is the latest stage in a Support Services Review that was launched in 2015 . Staff will have from now until the end of August to respond to the proposals, with a final announcement due to be made in September. However, individual staff members could face a much longer wait to find out if they will still have a job under Hayne’s plans.