General staff excluded from Waikato council

Posted By TEU on May 28, 2015 |

Tertiary Update Vol 18 No 16

There will be no general staff and only one academic on Waikato’s new university council if its proposed new model proceeds.

The University of Waikato released a consultation document last week outlining who it wants to sit on its newly constituted council next year. It recommends just one staff member, to be nominated by Academic Board, and one elected student. There is no seat for general staff, and the overall number of elected staff and students is half the current number.

One general staff member from Waikato, Annie Barker, is disappointed that the proposed new constitution and membership of the University of Waikato council will ignore the knowledge, skills and experience of the university’s general staff.

“It seems that only our academic colleagues have the right mix of competencies, can demonstrate the right behaviour and can exercise sufficient independence and diversity of thought to provide effective oversight.”

Barker says she is looking forward to attending TEU’s next monthly meeting with the vice-chancellor to discuss the apparent shortcomings of the university’s general staff.

TEU national president Sandra Grey says the consultation document outlines a very informal consultation process compared to that other universities are undertaking.

She says it is really important that Waikato staff and students use that process over the next month to make short simple submissions arguing for one-third of council seats to be set aside for democratically elected staff and students.

“One single staff member and one student is not enough to represent the university’s education needs and protect its autonomy when weighed against four ministerial appointees.”

“This proposed model undermines academic freedom and lessens the voice Waikato staff and students have in the wellbeing of their own university.”

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Vice-chancellor’s secret elite Koru Club
  2. Budget threatens polytechnics
  3. Tertiary education and Budget 2015
  4. Older student numbers plummet
  5. Waiariki contemplates full merger
  6. Backbenchers stall health and safety law

Other news

The head of one of the country’s top scientific institutes is calling for a review of the way the most prestigious science funder makes decisions on grants. Kate McGrath, the director of the McDiarmid Institute and also the vice-provost of research at Victoria University, has written a blog saying that drastic change is needed to the Marsden Fund – Radio NZ

The University of Canterbury is offering incentives including free flights for students to boost its numbers after the region’s earthquakes – The Press

A new ad campaign by Massey University has set off a debate over the strategy being used by the New Zealand university – Inside Higher Ed

The Young Nats support the New Zealand Medical Students Association’s campaign to exempt medical students from the seven-year equivalent full-time study cap on borrowing for course costs, and want the cap extended to nine years for this group of students – Young Nats

A seal visited the Open Polytechnic’s Lower Hutt campus after it made its way up the Waiwhetu Stream – Hutt News




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