Staff Cuts in the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics
Another round of job cuts has been proposed at the University of WA. This time with academic staff in the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics. Regarding the new cuts in the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics announced September 30th - they are large - 20-25% of permanent academic teaching and research positions!
The NTEU is very concerned about the people who will be identified for forced redundancies; many are long serving devoted teachers and researchers who have made a significant contribution to our great university. The justification is obviously about cost cutting but the proposal is to cut much deeper than just to cover their small deficit. Unfortunately any vision for the future has been abandoned when our capacity to respond strategically to global problems in the areas of engineering/mining and biomedical research are being cut. The University prides itself in their propaganda as "appointing the highest quality staff" and yet now when they have overspent on capital works ($250million over last 5 years) they have apparently decided that these academics are underperforming in their research activity. In more enlightened times someone might have asked the question as to why the research performance of these staff is declining. The answer, obvious to those of us who actually work in the system, is the result of the over enrollment of students with the same numbers of teaching and research academics carrying the load. This overload of teaching and research staff occurred in the face of a number of Senate sanctioned reductions to the distribution of the limited government funds that were provided. The schools and discipline areas in this and other faculties at UWA would actually have no debt if the University had not withheld their student generated funds. These funds have instead been used to prop up the misguided approach of buying in research only expertise in an attempt to raise UWA ranking in international ranking schemes. In the good old days the reputation of a university was the product of the quality of the staff and students they produced. Unfortunately these days our administrators think that quality can be purchased with buildings and a large advertising budget. The staff and students are the university and they have been very poorly served by an executive that has lost their way.