Waikato council decision is anti-democratic

Posted By TEU on Jul 16, 2015 |

Tertiary Update Vol 18 No 23

Waikato University’s decision to provide just one seat for staff on its new council is a calamity for democracy says TEU vice-president Cat Pausé.

Waikato’s council voted yesterday to adopt a new council constitution that makes space for only one staff member, to be nominated by Academic Board, and one student.

Just before the council meeting began TEU members presented chancellor Jim Bolger with a petition containing over 560 signatures. The council chose not to heed its staff’s wishes.

Otago University also voted on a new council this week. Like all councils other than Waikato to decide on a new constitution –  Canterbury, Lincoln, Auckland and Massey – it opted for one elected academic, one general staff and one student.

Pausé says while each of these councils falls short of TEU’s call for one-third of seats for staff and students they all allow for democratic elections and they allow give general staff a voice.

“Waikato’s decision disenfranchises not just general staff but all staff. Democracy is what protects us and our universities from the risk of government control. To remove it is a travesty,” says Pausé

Two universities remain to make their decision on a new council structure. Victoria university of Wellington is currently consulting on a proposal that allows for two ‘academic experts’ and two students, none of whom are elected. AUT is also consulting on a proposal that allows for only one elected staff member, one person appointed from the academic board and one appointed student.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. BOPP and Waiariki consult on merger
  2. Aoraki may jettison Dunedin courses
  3. Small business workers need health and safety protection
  4. Employment law tweaks won’t end zero hours agreements
  5. Stronger unions will address income inequality

Other news

The University of Otago is proposing to close down its applied sciences department, threatening the jobs of at least seven staff members – Otago Daily Times

Unfortunately, despite international research increasingly pointing to the value of workplace training and apprenticeships, the 2015 Budget failed to increase the inflation-adjusted rate at which the Government funds industry-based skills training. This needs to change – Competenz’s Bill Sole

The University of Otago foundation trust this week decided on fossil fuel divestment, but it may not let go of any of its investments as a result, activists say – Otago Daily Times

Lincoln University has begun the process of appointing a new vice-chancellor. The process will involve an extensive search both within New Zealand and internationally, and is expected to take between five to seven months – Lincoln University

The latest victims of Greece’s crisis have been students and academics who have lost access to electronic journals, a vital source to continue their research and studies, due to non-payment – Greek Reporter


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