Auckland VC wants to trim faculty admin staff

Posted By TEU on Oct 24, 2013 |

Tertiary Update Vol 16 No 36

At a University of Auckland council meeting to set fees this week the vice-chancellor, Stuart McCutcheon, responded to a question about what the university was doing to save money, and thus prevent student fees rising. He answered that “it is an aim of the project [the Faculty Administration Review or FAR] to substantially reduce numbers”.

Stuart McCutcheon approved the FAR review of administrative staff roles at the university earlier this year. Stage one of the review is complete and stage two is scheduled to be introduced in March 2014. The review, in its first phase, looked at the role of senior administration positions and recommended creating 31 new senior positions. Stage two looks at all other administration staff. It seems the vice-chancellor is predetermining the outcome of the review by apparently telling council the project will result in a large number of lost jobs.

TEU branch co-president Nina Mamnani says the university’s faculty administration staff are capable and have expertise supporting students and academic staff with their teaching, learning and research.

“We professional staff are highly skilled, and we’re committed to building the university’s student experience and research environment”.

However, local TEU organiser Enzo Giordani says the university’s review cannot protect those values of integrity, capability, and expertise if it decides in advance it is going to slash jobs simply to save money.

“If you fire hard-working, capable, experienced professional staff, you don’t save money or improve efficiencies. You simply pass the costs of that loss onto the remaining professional staff and their academic colleagues and students, who get less support and greater workloads”.

Enzo Giordani says TEU members are very concerned by the way the vice-chancellor has framed the review but, they remain committed to improving the university’s administrative roles for the benefit of all students and staff. TEU has formed a reference group to seek better input into the review process.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. 30 jobs at risk for struggling Aoraki
  2. Staff and students petition to keep voice on councils
  3. Pressure growing for fairer pay rises
  4. Corporate funding, a threat to academic independence
  5. University of Auckland fee rise angers students

Other news

Lincoln University has announced its membership of the Open Education Resource university network (OERu). OERu is aimed specifically at universities around the world who are working to make quality teaching resources available globally at no cost. “Open Access essentially means making publicly-funded resources (like many of those produced within a university) publically available,” – Lincoln University 

Ako Aotearoa – The National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence – welcomed three new members to its Board this week, including TEU leader Dr Margaret Taurere (Ngāti Kuri), as a representative of Māori in education – Ako Aotearoa

Private multi-national company Navitas Limited will next week open its doors as an affiliated college on the University of Canterbury’s (UC) campus to recruit and prepare international students for degree study at UC – University of Canterbury

Search engines are killing the library as we know it as ink and paper makes way for computer screens and hand held devices – Waikato Times


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