Staff and students rally to stop closure at Vic

Posted By TEU on Aug 4, 2011 |

Tertiary Update Vol 14 No 28

Staff and students at Victoria University are rallying today to protest plans to close down the university’s Crime and Justice Research Centre, and to disestablish two lecturer positions in the Political Science and International Relations programme. The university also plans to cut jobs in the Faculty of Education, creating unacceptable gaps in teaching and research.

“There is no financial case for closing down the crime centre. Worse, the university seems quite unaware of the immense contribution this centre has made, and should continue to make, to government legislation and policy in New Zealand. This is just academic vandalism,” TEU organiser Michael Gilchrist said.

“The changes in the political science programme will sack two very promising younger academics and limit academic choices for students.”

Management has not let the university’s Academic Board debate the current plans for academic re-structuring. TEU believes, according to law and the university’s own rules, this must happen before such significant academic changes can proceed.

So far, over 750 people have signed a petition to the vice-chancellor asking him to withdraw the change proposals and ensure that proper academic decision-making processes are followed, including taking advice from Faculty and Academic Boards on all academic matters.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Auckland academics reject university’s ‘best offer’
  2. CPIT strike suggests a confused employer
  3. Voluntary student membership may be just weeks away
  4. Teaching awards honour for Auckland senior tutor
  5. Minister launches review of industry training

Other news

Student Job Search has confirmed it will close its six university campus-based centres as part of a move to restructure its job recruitment operations online. A review of SJS operations had concluded the existing service did not meet the needs of students, as more and more of them went online to find jobs, he said – Otago Daily Times

Wellington City Council wants student concessions introduced on public transport and for bus and train commuters to pay a smaller share of fares. Victoria University of Wellington Student Association president Seamus Brady said Auckland offered student concession, while students in Palmerston North and Whanganui paid nothing. The high costs in Wellington made getting to class tough for cash-strapped students living in cheaper areas on the city fringes. – Dominion Post

Casual staff with PhDs could become the refuse of the Australian higher education system unless there is a commitment to building and maintaining a full-time workforce, a researcher in the field says – The Australian

Fewer than one in three Australian university staff has confidence in the ability of senior management at their institution, with 44 per cent saying the bottom line was of more importance than student outcomes – The Australian

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.

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