University rescue package called for
The Victoria University branch of the Association of University Staff (AUS) responded today to sobering news concerning the University's financial situation with a call for reasoned and constructive analyses of the available options.
AUS spokesperson, Guy Reynolds, said staff appreciated the more consultative approach being adopted by the Acting Vice-Chancellor after last year's difficulties. "At least this year we are being presented with a rationale and a process which will allow for effective staff input into the decision making," said Mr Reynolds.
"It is good to see that Victoria's management, unlike Massey’s, is not just expressing the budget deficit in terms of the number of jobs that need to be shed," said Mr Reynolds.
“We welcome the fact that the University proposes to investigate possible reductions in its overhead and management costs and the recognition that it needs to focus on core teaching and research activities.
“If the ideas and expertise of the University community are successfully utilised new revenue-earning initiatives should be able to be implemented," he said.
While there were internal initiatives that Victoria must undertake, Mr Reynolds said that the Government needs to act faster and with greater commitment if the university sector is to survive at all.
“The recent funding announced in the Budget may help to arrest further rises in student fees but does not even compensate for inflation, let alone go far enough to meet the needs of a seriously under-funded sector.
“Government needs to ensure that student fees drop from the current level of 35% of course costs to the 25% originally set down by the Todd Task Force, said Guy Reynolds."
"If the Government truly wants to create a knowledge-based society, then it needs to look seriously at the kind of rescue package allocated to the Arts. We need to ensure throughout this challenging period that we keep the best long-term interests of the University, its students and the wider community firmly in view," he said.
Guy Reynolds phone: 463 5690
Branch Spokesperson mobile: 025 213 0652
Victoria University Branch email: email@example.com
Association of University Staff