University pulls back on job cut plan

The Otago University Students' Association has disaffiliated with the Elohim Bible Academy. Photo...
Photo: ODT files
The University of Otago will not be proceeding with a controversial proposal to cut three full-time academic jobs from the Department of Marine Science.

A statement said the panel had given thoughtful consideration to the feedback from the 232 submissions received. They included criticism from students, other academics in different areas of the university, members of the community, and international collaborators.

The statement said the Management of Change proposal would not proceed "due to a variety of factors including voluntary redundancy, and changes to the full-time status of some staff through mutual agreement".

Details of a new proposal are expected to become clear by Christmas.

Division of Sciences pro vice-chancellor Prof Richard Barker said he was in the process of coming up with a plan that would take the feedback from submissions into account.

“I appreciate that this delay may add further concern following what has already been a tough time for staff and students, however it is important the revised proposal is representative of the feedback received.

"I also see it important that this process is thorough and well-thought-out so it can bring us to a sustainable conclusion,” he said.

The proposed selection process for the Marine Science Academic staff as set out in the original Management of Change proposal will not proceed, due to a variety of factors including voluntary redundancy, and changes to the full-time status of some staff through mutual agreement.

The Management of Change process began in October due to a growing budget deficit in the department. The 2019 deficit is expected to be $4.2 million.

This year there are 139.5 equivalent full-time students, and 39 professional and academic staff in the department.

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter