University of Otago accepts 103 redundancies

The University of Otago has accepted 103 redundancy applications as part of its voluntary redundancy scheme.

Acting vice-chancellor Prof Helen Nicholson said the scheme was announced in September last year to ensure the university remained financially resilient.

A total of 195 staff from various departments expressed interest in taking redundancy.

Managers and heads of departments considered each case individually before they were sent to human resources.

Applications were judged primarily on whether the redundancy would lead to savings over five years.

All staff who applied have now been informed of the final decision on their application.

The financial impact of these redundancies was still unknown because not all staff had confirmed their intentions.

The university had no target number of jobs it wished to reduce.

"While we weren’t able to accept all applications, we are grateful to all of those who took the time to express their interest," Prof Nicholson said.

Various factors contributed to the university’s financial outlook, she said.

These included rebuilding its international student cohort in the wake of Covid-19, rising salary expectations, evacuating its Wellington campus’ main academic block because of a poor seismic rating, and an expensive capital development programme.

In 2017, the university cut 160 full-time equivalent jobs after restructuring its non-academic staff.


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