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Theatre and Religion departments saved from the axe, but threat of cuts remain

Undergrad units with less than 24 students will be cut.

Honi can reveal that the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies and the Department of Studies in Religion will not be dissolved.

In a staff meeting today, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), Annamarie Jagose, confirmed that the departments will be saved from the axe.

This comes after months of sustained campaigning from students, student activists and staff, including a June rally attended by over 100 people.

After a significant amount of hesitation and “dodging questions” about FASS’ future, Jagose also made the commitment to no full-time job cuts in FASS.

However, Jagose’s announcement foreshadows a Draft Change Proposal (DCP) being released later this afternoon, which will “streamline” the structure of FASS.

The curriculum reforms being proposed in the DCP include cuts to undergraduate units and OLEs that attract less than 24 students, and postgraduate courses that have less than 20 students.

If accepted, this proposal will likely impact casual jobs, whose protection has not been assured by Jagose.

Slides from the meeting, seen by Honi, say that “the overall size of our HDR student cohort will be reduced” in line with “strategic research initiatives.”

There are also more requirements for core units, with every major needing at least 1 compulsory 1000-level core and 1 compulsory 2000- or 3000-level core unit.

The slides seen by Honi suggest that the School of Literature, Art and Media (SLAM) will be renamed to the School of Communication and the Arts. The extent of the changes to its internal structure is currently unclear.

Some internal amalgamations and shuffling of subjects between Schools are being considered, such as relocating Linguistics to the School of Humanities.

The Education Action Group hosted a forum last night where they outlined that $3.6 million worth of cuts to FASS are still on the table through the DCP.

Staff will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the DCP by 5pm on 6 October.

More to come.