400 staff and students rally at Australian National University calling for destructive cost cutting proposals to be abandoned
A rally of over 400 staff and students held at ANU today demanded the time had come for Vice-Chancellor, Ian Young, to abandon his destructive cost cutting proposals.
Throughout the consultation period, the Vice-Chancellor had failed to justify his claims of financial crisis, National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) ACT Division Secretary, Stephen Darwin, told the rally.
“It’s clear to the majority of ANU staff that his claims that the institution faces some sort of imminent financial crisis have been manufactured.”
Darwin called on the Vice–Chancellor to withdraw his threat to force the compulsory redundancy of up to 150 ANU staff on the basis of retrospective definition of performance standards.
“Cuts on the scale proposed will not build the institution,” Darwin told the rally. “Instead it will result in lower quality teaching, research and research supervision at ANU.”
“The Vice–Chancellor needs to move beyond simplistic economics and metrics and look to the more complex challenges of harnessing the rich potential of ANU staff and students.”
The Rally heard the NTEU had been inundated with copies of negative responses that had been sent by ANU staff to the Vice-Chancellor.
Following the speakers, the rally voted unanimously to demand that the Vice Chancellor withdraw all threats and plans for involuntary redundancies as these could only undermine the quality of education and work life at the ANU.
Staff and students then marched to the Chancelry and delivered these demands to Deputy Vice-Chancellor Lawrence Cram, the Vice-Chancellor himself ebing overseas.
The rally also called on the NTEU and organizations representing the student body to organise meetings to decide on further action if the Vice Chancellor persisted with his ill-advised plans.