The University of Canterbury’s outgoing pro-vice-chancellor (arts), Ed Adelson, has emailed all Arts staff at the university warning that the College of Arts is being pressured by the vice-chancellor to make approximately $1 million in staff reductions in 2013, “as a result of the continued negative cash situation facing the university.”
Ed Adelson warns that Arts programmes and departments are ‘truly stretched thin’, and the expected additional savings will come on the heels of the approximately $1.5 million in cost-cutting that occurred in Arts’ staffing just last year.
“In the broad context of all of these challenges, the college and its staff will need to consider how to reduce staffing levels without bringing harm to core academic offerings. Tough decisions will have to be made concerning what we offer, our mix of undergraduate and post-graduate courses and programmes, and how we elect to apportion our efforts around teaching, research, and university service.”
TEU organiser Gabrielle Moore has written to Ed Adelson asking him to clarify what the process is for these cuts and how union members will have their say on any proposals. Referring to the $1 million of proposed savings she states:
“This has not been raised informally or formally with the TEU. Can you tell us how that process will occur and what engagement with staff and the TEU will there be?”
Gabrielle Moore is also seeking answers on proposed reviews of Music, Social Work, Film and Languages.
“Given the situation that occurred in regards to the 2012 Arts Change Proposal, that resulted in the council instructing (through vote) to retain two of the three that were proposed for closure, what is the process the college intends to use for these reviews?”
Professor Adelson says in his email that the government’s current policies for supporting areas of science, engineering, and technology over arts and other areas of study ‘make the recovery for arts all the more excruciating’.