Deakin University will cut up to 220 jobs, despite an assertion from its Vice-Chancellor in February that the University was “debt free…and in a secure financial position.”
The latest cuts come on top of almost 400 job losses at the University last year.
Piper Rodd, the President of the NTEU Deakin Branch, told Honi that “all faculties and divisions might be affected,” and that mergers are proposed for professional and administrative staff.
Rodd said that the cuts come “during a time of tremendous stress, anxiety and exhaustion for Deakin workers.”
“Basic productivity, and the quality of education for our students, is harmed when Deakin has demonstrated a consistent lack of compassion for staff.”
“The two week consultation period is too short, especially given the context and timing of lockdown pressures and teaching demands.”
Rodd further criticised the lack of government support for the university sector: “this all comes as a result of a chronic and ideological defunding of public higher education in Australia.”
“None of this is inevitable and we need to push back.”
The Faculties of Law, Business and Science and Engineering are all expected to be hit hard by the cuts. The School of Education will lose at least 15 academics, with academic positions turned into teaching-only roles.
In a statement, Vice-Chancellor Iain Martin said that the changes were “necessary to ensure Deakin’s financial future while ensuring their services are effective, cohesive, and aligned to core purposes.”
Staff were told that costs have risen independently of the pandemic, and that a drop in international student numbers would see income decline by $220 million next year.
In February, Martin said that “Deakin University carries no debt …There is absolutely no doubt that Deakin is in a secure financial position.”
The job cuts at Deakin are the latest in a wave of forced redundancies in recent months. Since July, Honi has reported on job losses at Adelaide University (130 jobs); La Trobe (300 jobs); Newcastle University (150 jobs); UTS (60 jobs); Macquarie University (34 jobs, including the entire Environmental Sciences department); and the University of Western Australia (16 jobs, with Anthropology and Sociology to be cut entirely).
Deakin University was contacted for comment, but failed to reply