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AUS Tertiary Update

AUS WEB SITETertiary bosses get big pay rises
Tertiary education bosses have been big winners in the pay-increase stakes according to salary statistics released by the State Services Commission. The 2003 Annual Report of the State Services Commission reports that the University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor, Dr John Hood, topped the remuneration table for a chief executive in the tertiary education sector in 2002, with a remuneration package worth between $370,000 and $379,999. It is up by $10,000 on 2001 and increased by $50,000 between 2000 and 2002.
In second place was University of Otago Vice-Chancellor, Dr Graeme Fogelberg, who received between $320,000 and $329,999 in 2002, up around $20,000 on 2001. Biggest mover amongst the vice-chancellors was Lincoln’s (former) head, Dr Frank Wood, whose package increased from between $220,000 and $229,999 in 2001 to between $250,000 and $259,999 in 2002. Dr Wood resigned in 2003 citing ill health.
Vice-chancellors at Waikato, Massey, and Victoria all received between $260,000 and $269,999.
The remuneration package paid to the University of Canterbury’s Vice-Chancellor was reported at between $240,000 and $249,999 for the year to October 2000, a drop from the $300,000 to $309,999 reported in 2001.
Association of University Staff (AUS) National President, Dr Bill Rosenberg, said that during the five years to 2002, vice-chancellors received remuneration increases of up to 42%. At the same time listed salary rates for staff increased by less than 10%. “It is hard to accept that vice-chancellors felt they were entitled to salary increases of that proportion when they were offering their staff significantly lesser amounts,” he said. “Staff will feel more than justified in rejecting the salary offers being made in current negotiations, and will be looking to the vice-chancellors to remedy the situation by working with the unions to resolve funding issues”.
The biggest remuneration increase in the tertiary education sector was reported at the financially troubled Otago Polytechnic where the Chief Executive’s package increased by at least 53%. It rose from between $200,000 and $209,999 in 2001 to between $320,000 and $329,999 in 2002. The figure includes what is described as “payment of all contractual entitlements up until 18 December 2002”. It suggests a large payout to the then Chief Executive, Dr Wanda Korndorffer, who resigned “with immediate effect” following an Audit New Zealand investigation into what was described as a “botched” redevelopment of the polytechnic campus.

Also in Tertiary Update this week
1. $10 million claim filed against Wananga
2. Students say PM misleads Parliament over fees
3. University negotiations resume
4. College to cut costs
5. Audit report says Wananga needs to improve administration
6. US Government withdraws subpoena on university anti-war meeting
7. Italy faces huge fines for academic discrimination

$10 million claim filed against Wananga
Receivers for failed private training establishment, Carich Computer Training Ltd, today confirmed that they have issued legal proceedings against Te Wananga O Aotearoa for a sum in excess of $10 million. It arises from the Wananga’s withdrawal from a joint venture between the two organisations whereby Carich would provide Phase 3 ComputerGym courses to students enrolled at the Wananga.
Carich receiver, Kerryn Downey of KPMG, said lawyers had filed a statement of claim on the Wananga yesterday and he expected the parties would explore several options to try and resolve the matter. He said the joint venture arrangement between Carich and the Wananga allowed for arbitration where matters were in dispute, but said they could also look at either a negotiated settlement or proceeding directly to litigation.
Mr. Downey said that around 2500 students were affected when the Wananga abruptly terminated the joint venture in March last year, shortly before the programme was about to commence. He said that Carich had fully set up to start the courses and was taking enrolments at the time the Wananga pulled out of the venture. He said they had incurred significant costs in areas such as advertising the course, hiring staff and leaseing premises.
Mr. Downey said he was unable to comment on why the Wananga had pulled out of the deal, but noted the parties had successfully co-shared the Phase 2 ComputerGym courses which had involved about 2,200 students.
The Wananga again failed to respond to a call from Tertiary Update.
The acting General Manager of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), Max Kerr, confirmed that the TEC has received a claim of approximately $750,000 related to student funding and is also in discussion with Carich’s receiver. No legal action is being taken against TEC.

Students say PM misleads Parliament over fees
The Prime Minister’s speech at the opening of Parliament this week glossed over the grim reality of debt and poverty for students according to Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association President, Amanda Hill.
In her speech to the opening of Parliament this week, the Prime Minister said that this year’s Budget will provide for more students to qualify for allowances from the 2005 year and new Step-Up scholarships are available this year for students from low and modest-income families studying health and animal sciences.
Ms Hill said that Labour had campaigned on affordable education, yet had failed to address the problem of $6 billion of student debt. “They have failed to realistically adjust the parental income thresholds within the allowance system, and they have failed to reinstate the Emergency Unemployment Benefit, leaving many students without an income over summer,” she said.
While the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) welcomed the announcement by Ms Clark that more students will receive allowances, they criticised the lack of detail on numbers. “It’s no coincidence that the first new allowances will come in an election year. The public deserves specific information about how many students will benefit - not vague election year carrots,” said NZUSA Co-President, Andrew Kirton.
“Two-thirds of students are currently shut out of government support while studying. All students should be eligible for living allowances, and we will not let Clark and Maharey get away with tiny increases phased in slowly,” said Mr Kirton.

University negotiations resume
Negotiations for new national collective employment agreements for academic and general staff in seven universities resumed in Wellington yesterday and are scheduled to continue until Friday this week.
Talks were adjourned in late December last year with union negotiators rejecting pay offers ranging between approximately 2% and 3.8%.
A proposal for the parties jointly to develop an independent white paper on university funding was shelved after university employers stipulated that such a proposal was contingent on the continuation of site bargaining.

College to cut costs
Christchurch College of Education is to cut costs in its secondary school teacher training programme at a time when there is a national shortage of secondary school teachers.
College Principal, Dr Ian Hall, said that about $500,000 would be cut from the School of Secondary Education programme, and blamed the College’s financial position on under funding and the recently imposed fee-maxima which limited student tuition fee increases to a maximum of 5%.
Dr Hall said the problem had been looming for some time and proposals on cost savings would be put to the College Council at its June meeting. He is reported in The Press as saying that everything is being looked at and the College is still far from making any decisions. “I’m just putting up the early warning flag,” he said.
Dr Hall said an internal review of the department had been started with the intention of making significant cutbacks, but described any potential staff redundancies as the “worst case scenario”.

Audit report says Wananga needs to improve administration
Te Wananga O Aotearoa, New Zealand's largest tertiary institution, has been told it needs to improve its administration according to a New Zealand Qualifications Authority report. The report, based on an audit carried out last year, recommended the Wananga tighten contracts with other education providers, improve document control, internal audits and quality management, and improve the enrolment process.
Wananga Academic Quality Manager Neville Withers is reported saying there were no surprises in the audit report. “We were expecting the audit to take place in November last year, but it came in July while we were still putting systems in place,” he said. “An audit is a timing thing and is really only a snapshot of a moment, so it doesn't take into account many of the processes that we were putting in place to ensure resources were being provided and staff were being appraised”.
The audit praised the Wananga for presentation of resources, its focus on research and response to community needs. It also highlighted the emphasis it placed on providing further qualifications for staff.
The Authority acknowledged the Wananga had made improvements, and noted its provision for its staff to learn Te Reo Maori was unique.

Worldwatch
US Government withdraws subpoena on university anti-war meeting
The United States Attorney's office in Des Moines has backed down from using a subpoena to get information about an antiwar conference held at Drake University late last year. In what may be the first subpoena of its kind in decades, a federal judge recently ordered the University to turn over records about a gathering of anti-war activists, including the identities of those who participated and any campus-security records that would describe what was discussed at the conference. Subpoenas were also served on four of the activists who attended the forum, ordering them to appear before a grand jury.
Following a request by the U.S. Attorney, the subpoena’s were withdrawn this week, along with an order which had prevented the University from disclosing what was in the subpoena or commenting on it.
The turnaround by the U.S. Attorney's office surprised and pleased University officials and their lawyers. “Whatever one's views of the political positions articulated at that meeting, the University cherishes and protects the right to express those views without fear of reprisal or recrimination,” said David Maxwell, Drake's President. “The university in America is, by definition, a ‘free speech' zone in which dissent, disagreement and multiplicity of views are not only tolerated, but encouraged”.

Italy faces huge fines for academic discrimination
The Italian Government is facing massive daily European Court of Justice fines for failing to end discrimination against foreign language lecturers in its universities. The European Commission said it was seeking an unprecedented fine of €310,000 (£210,000) a day until the matter was resolved. The demand from Brussels is the latest move in an eighteen-year campaign to force Italian universities to give foreign language teachers the same rights as Italian lecturers. The Italian Ministry of Education has declined to comment on the decision. The Italian legislature is currently discussing a bill to address the issue. But representatives of the foreign teachers have rejected its provisions as inadequate. Around 1,000 foreign lecturers are involved in legal action against the universities.

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AUS Tertiary Update is compiled weekly on Thursdays and distributed freely to members of the union and others. Back issues are archived on the AUS website: http://www.aus.ac.nz. Direct enquires to Marty Braithwaite, AUS Communications Officer, email: marty.braithwaite@aus.ac.nz

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