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July 7, 2008 | by  | in News |
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Cuts going ahead at College of Education

Despite a recent protest and more than 200 submissions from students and staff, University management have announced plans to continue with the proposed cuts at the College of Education.

The announcement, made during the mid-year break, will see up to 22 academic and seven administrative positions cut by the end of this year.

As part of an overhaul to address a $1.7 million budget blowout at the Faculty, 20 existing administrative positions will be phased out and replaced by 13 new general positions, while cuts for academic staff are expected to be announced next week.

The decision has been criticised by the Association of University Staff, with organiser Michael Gilchrist expressing concern about the University’s change processes.

“We believe that there should have been broader input on the decision panel. We are not sure how 204 submissions can fail to have any impact on the proposed job losses.”

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) Dugald Scott pointed out that changes had been made to the general staffing structure to reflect the work roles required in response to the submissions.

“More than half of the submissions were individually prepared which shows that considerable thought, time and energy was put into this process.”

Scott added: “I’d like to acknowledge that this is a distressing time for staff and we have done all we can to support staff through this difficult process, and will continue to do so.”

Gilchrist went on to blame both the Government and the University for the cuts.

“The Government has effectively reduced the funding for teacher education by shifting resources toward research and away from teaching.”

In a related move, the College’s gender and women’s studies department has received a temporary reprieve following a recent motion passed by the Academic Board that called for greater consultation to be undertaken by University management with staff and students.

With a number of decisions in place until the end of 2009 that ensure the department will be exempt from the College of Education’s current restructuring, Scott will continue to consult students and the Board of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies on issues surrounding the department’s physical location and maintenance of its programme.

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