Lincoln ‘teaching crisis’ from $4 million cuts

Posted By TEU on Jun 5, 2014 |

Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 17

Staff from Lincoln University’s Department of Agribusiness Management and Property Studies (DAMPS) are challenging their university’s proposal to restructure the commerce faculty, saying they are concerned about unanticipated consequences.

The Press reported “some staff are ‘really p….. off’ about how the cost-cutting has been handled, with the commerce faculty passing a no-confidence vote in its senior managers.”

Consultation on most of the change proposals at the university is finished but changes at Agriculture and Life Sciences, Commerce, and the Research and Commercialisation Office are still unconfirmed.

In a letter to their dean four staff from DAMPS said the faculty will ‘almost certainly suffer unintended losses of key academics from DAMPS owing to a pervasive sense that the ‘Commerce Plus’ model does not align with Lincoln’s vision’.

They argued the changes will perpetuate unprofitable generic course offerings.

“Resignations could plunge the faculty into a teaching crisis by the end of the current semester regardless of any changes made to the proposal next month,” the staff letter to the dean noted.

Meanwhile Lincoln’s vice-chancellor Andrew West announced to staff the result of consultation on changes intended to save $4 million in salaries. The university will cut seven percent of its staff. Nearly 90 percent of job losses have come from voluntary redundancies and retirements. 63 staff elected to take advantage of an enhanced early retirement package or a voluntary redundancy package.

While staff and the union are ‘pissed off’, the vice-chancellor is more sanguine.

“This is not a pleasant process for staff, students or the university itself.  The professionalism of the staff and the Tertiary Education Union, and understanding of students, during this period is appreciated by the university.  I am pleased that we kept compulsory changes to a minimum. We will now work with affected staff around options for their future,” said Andrew West. 

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. ‘Worst financial results in years’ for polytechnics
  2. Paid parental leave drama continues
  3. Joyce challenged over council changes in Parliament
  4. ICT grad schools won’t solve real skills shortage
  5. TEU congratulates Dr Waikerepuru for Queen’s honour

Other news

WITT, EIT and UCOL are investigating merging their three governing councils into one – Taranaki Daily News

“You can’t pursue a sinking lid policy indefinitely and expect the same or better services. ‘There has to come a point when polytechnics will be unable to continue to deliver the services the country requires.“ – Otago CE Phil Ker to the Otago Daily Times

The government’s proposed changes to university councils will make it harder for New Zealand institutions to attract full fee-paying international students, says a Massey University academic – Massey University

Chinese academics Hao Jian and Xu Youyu, activist Liu Di and writer Hu Shigen were also detained after attending a meeting to discuss the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square ‘crackdown’. All have been criminally detained on suspicion of “picking quarrels”. – Amnesty International 

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