Slash & burn cuts not the answer at Adelaide Uni

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Wide-scale staff redundancies are not the answer to the recent Federal Government funding cuts at the University of Adelaide.

Speaking at the University of Adelaide's annual open day, Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Warren Bebbington, said the University will take a different approach from the mass staff redundancies being announced in some other universities.

"We are adopting a carefully structured 5-year financial plan to address the shortfall positively," said Professor Bebbington.

"While ANU has announced 230 staff will go, the University of Adelaide will address the funding cuts with new course income and better administrative processes.

"I have asked faculties to think of appealing, innovative programs they could offer in the coming years, and where in existing ones they could attract a few more students without lowering their ATAR entrance scores," he said.

"We are very conscious of where the student market is heading. Being responsive to changing interests, at the same time we must be faithful to the core academic areas that one would expect a Go8 university to deliver.

"Some areas of learning and research should be fiercely protected, while allowing space for new, innovative program choices."

Professor Bebbington wants to avoid across-the-board economies that are the usual response to significant funding cuts.

"In a general expenditure reduction, the most crucial programs suffer along with the back office functions," he said. "Instead, we want our academic staff to identify what courses and programs are absolutely critical to their mission, so those can be protected and fully-funded."

Savings will be sought in non-teaching operations with an emphasis on improving the efficiency of a range of systems and processes.

"It's not necessarily about doing more with less but doing things differently," Professor Bebbington said.


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