University brand review 'inappropriate'

A University of Otago branding review in the midst of general staff cuts gives the impression the university is out of touch with staff, a union leader says.

All University of Otago staff, as well as some students and alumni, will be sent a survey in the next week about the university's current brand and what in-house changes could be made to update it.

University of Otago design and brand manager Luke Calder said 4500 people had responded to the survey so far.

Tertiary Education Union leader Shaun Scott said the brand review, which was announced the same month as plans to cut 182 full-time-equivalent (FTE) general staff at the university, concerned some staff.

``Certainly some of our members see this kind of expenditure of time and money on a brand review in the middle of staff challenges at the university as inappropriate.''

While the cost of any new branding was expected to be minimal, the process did not consider the university's true brand, Mr Scott said.

``It gives an appearance the university is out of touch with how staff are feeling. From our point of view, the university brand is built on the staff and the work they do.''

A revised brand was expected to be phased in over two years as items such as publications, advertising, signage and merchandise were updated so the financial impact would be minimal, Mr Calder said.

A University of Otago spokeswoman said it was important to ensure the university remained attractive to prospective students.

``It is not an option for the university to stand still in terms of marketing.''


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