Cutting $4 million from Lincoln staff will harm education

Posted By TEU on Mar 27, 2014 |

Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 7

Lincoln has been told it needs to cut $4 million from salaries by 2015, and it is responding with a series of restructures that could see up to 10 percent of its staff lose their jobs.

“Lincoln knows these cuts will not result in better education for Lincoln’s students. The cuts will affect the services students get,” says TEU deputy secretary Nanette Cormack.

In describing the changes Lincoln’s vice-chancellor Andrew West said they would “give practical effect to the new portfolio of land-based qualifications and to efficiently deliver services”. However the Christchurch Press said 1 in 10 staff may lose their jobs and staff across all three faculties – commerce, agriculture and life sciences and environment, society and design – now face job cuts.

Nanette Cormack said the government needs to step in now, with money, to support Lincoln’s staff and students.

“Lincoln is a small but distinct university that has a particular place in our tertiary education sector.”

“It links our farming communities with top-end research and education. It is not viable to expect Lincoln to survive on the same funding formula as Auckland and Otago, particularly as it struggles to recover from a huge earthquake.”

Andrew West told the Press Lincoln needs to save money because it has lost students after the Canterbury earthquakes. International students fell by 26 per cent between 2009 and 2012.

Somewhat uncomfortingly he appeared to downplay the extent of the redundancies to the Press:

“We’re not talking 20 per cent [of staff] or anything like that. I suspect it will be less [than 10 per cent]. What is cast iron . . . is the fact that we do have to save money.”

TEU organiser Cindy Doull told the Press TEU was working with the university to try to reduce the need for compulsory redundancies where possible.

“There are eight change proposals and in each of those… there is an element of disestablishing roles. All of them have the opportunity to apply for voluntary severance and/or enhanced retirement,” she said.

“It’s extremely stressful for people. There will be a substantial change across faculties. People know [the changes] are coming, but they have no idea of the details.”

Also in Tertiary Update this week

  1. AUT non-union members need to join for 10 weeks’ pay rise
  2. UCOL stopworks endorse more industrial action
  3. Waikato University brings research out from behind paywalls
  4. Government to remove teachers from Teachers Council
  5. Nationwide protests against Trans-pacific Partnership Agreement

Other news

Steven Joyce wants university boards to look more like commercial boards – smaller with less accountability to the community. Because that’s what private companies do. They did the same with polytechs. And look what happened at WITT. The new commercial board at WITT thought they were less accountable to the community, and pushed out the top- performing chief executive, Richard Handley, for reasons we still have not had explained to us – Ross Henderson, Taranaki Daily News

TEU’s Canterbury branch president Jack Heinemann is delighted that the university’s council has demonstrated its commitment to academic freedom with a new Academic Freedom policy – TEU

A fresh row breaks out over whether students from the rest of the UK could be charged tuition fees if Scotland votes for independence – BBC

Hoping to reach an estimated 1 million adjunct professors across the USA, Service Employees International Union on Monday officially launched its new Adjunct Action Network website – Inside Higher Ed

Armed with a borrowed video camera, Megan Fulwiler and Jennifer Marlow, two US university teachers, set out to record the voices of faculty who are often invisible in and marginalised by the institutions where they teach – Youtube

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