TEU sends UC library restructuring back to review

Posted By TEU on Jun 24, 2010 |

Tertiary Update Vol 13 No 23

With 95 redundancies so far and a further 58 proposed, Canterbury’s STAR project has now blown the top of the University of Canterbury TEU branch’s change thermometer which they had been using to tally redundancies.

The TEU and the university’s academic board have successfully demanded that the vice chancellor and council halt Project STAR proposals for the library while an external review of the library is carried out. The redundancies at the library, also euphemistically termed the Learning Resources change proposal, have been delayed by six weeks, and two external reviewers have been brought in to examine the proposal. The reviewers will be presenting their report in early July, after which there will be further consultation.

TEU branch vice president Jennifer Middendorf says “While this review is perhaps not quite as independent as some of us would have liked, I think we can count the fact that it is happening at all as a win for our collective voice and the strength of TEU membership at this university.”

“If the proposal goes ahead in its current format, the loss of expertise, severing of lines of communication, switching of responsibilities and fracturing of the infrastructure will lead to a severe disruption of service.”

In the meantime, the change proposals continue to roll out, with the AVC Māori change proposal being released last week. While there are no redundancies proposed (for once!), the proposed changes will have a major effect on Māori and Pasifika staff at Canterbury, so TEU has been working closely with Māori and Pasifika members to ensure their voices are clearly heard.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. SIT announces more redundancies as funding cuts bite
  2. Good precedents not to close Hawkes Bay course yet
  3. Otago polytechnic scrabbles about for money
  4. US unions call on Obama to defend education funding

Other news

Demand for tertiary education study is likely to fall away as the recession eases and tougher criteria is placed on students, Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says. In a parliamentary education select committee meeting today, Mr Joyce disagreed with Labour’s tertiary education spokesman Grant Robertson’s suggestion that National’s efforts to address a shortage of places at tertiary institutes was inadequate – NZPA – also check out TEU’s take on growing student rolls.

New Zealand university students party and relax more than their Australian counterparts but manage more study, a survey has found. The Australasian Survey of Student Engagement found 19 per cent of Kiwi students devote more than 21 hours a week to relaxing and socialising, while 15 per cent of Aussie students do – The Press

The Tertiary Education Strategy states that the Government wants to see more people under the age of 25 achieving at degree level. This is particularly so when government funding for university places is tight – as it is at the moment. Whether that translates to more young bottoms (therefore fewer older ones) on lecture hall seats remains to be seen. – Otago Daily Times

Harrods of London is teaming up with academics to offer a degree in sales. Topics include shopping psychology. The degree won’t be available to pluck off the shelves: it is being offered to staff, as part of the burgeoning trend for workplace learning. It will last two years and is being run in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University. –The Guardian

Thousands of students at the University of Puerto Rico who went on strike two months ago to oppose severe budget cuts declared victory on Thursday after reaching an agreement with administrators to cancel a special fee that would have effectively doubled the cost to attend the university’s 11 public campuses – New York Times

The British government has announced that non-protected departmental budgets will be cut by an average of 25 per cent over the next four years. The announcement was made by the Chancellor in this week’s “tough but fair” emergency Budget. Details of precisely where the cuts will fall will not be set out until 20 October but Chancellor Osborne said that he recognised the “particular pressures” these cuts would place on the education system and on defence.- Time Higher Education Supplement

TEU Tertiary Update is published weekly on Thursdays and distributed freely to members of the Tertiary Education Union and others. You can subscribe to Tertiary Update by email or feed reader. Back issues are available on the TEU website. Direct inquiries should be made to Stephen Day, email: http://scr.im/stephenday

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