Head of the School of Medical Sciences, Professor Sarah Young, has proposed staff cuts within the Faculty of Medicine and Health under the guise of restructuring and streamlining teaching. The cuts would see the number of full-time equivalent staff in physiology reduced from 30 to 17, from 15 to 7.5 in pathology and 16 to 14 in pharmacology. The proposal estimates that this restructuring will save the Faculty “between $4m and $8m”.
The draft proposal indicates that the university wants to “minimise duplication [in teaching requirements] across the Faculty” and to create more “flexibility” and “agility” within the Faculty. The proposed alterations represent “a move away from disciplines and into interdisciplinary themes/programs for both research and education. This will enable a blended learning environment and greater connectedness for Academics and Students and will create broader opportunities for our staff to develop and evolve.” These proposed changes will further specialise staff roles, bringing pharmacology and pharmacy together into one school, for instance.
Positions not impacted by the proposed restructuring include: leadership roles, such as heads of departments, casual staff, Robinson Fellowship holders and staff recently appointed via merit selection processes.
This news comes just days after the university announced that it was initiating a voluntary redundancy process in response to the revenue shortfall precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.