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Unitec Commissioner and CE urged to slow down

The announcement that 19 courses and up to 200 jobs may be affected by change at Unitec may not have been a shock to staff, but the speed of consultation proposed is untenable.

Yesterday Unitec’s interim chief executive Merran Davis told Checkpoint it needed to reduce costs by 20 percent due to dropping student numbers over the last few years.

Unitec has just received confirmation of a $50 million government loan to ease its current cash-crisis. The Minister of Education has also put in a Commissioner to replace the governing Council.

“Students and staff are now paying for poor decisions made by the previous management and we are determined to ensure that the current round of change is about the institution’s long-term viability,” says TEU national president, Sandra Grey.

The only way to get good decisions about courses is to allow staff the time to present evidence and arguments in a rigorous change management process.

“Sadly at the moment staff feel that the processes are being rushed and we urge those in charge to just slow down, and allow us all a bit more thinking time. We need to ensure that all of the facts have been checked and discussed before making decisions” said Grey.

“The government has bailed Unitec out because it knows the institution is crucial to students, the community, and businesses. It’s going to take a collective effort to ensure the quality teaching and learning at Unitec is available for kiwis long-term.”

TEU is committed to working with the Commissioner and management to minimise the number of courses and jobs that need to be cut.


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