About a week after Massey University flagged to staff the next move in its sciences restructuring, Stuff reported Waikato University’s cutting 12 roles from its science faculty.
A proposal for changes to Te Aka Mātuatua– School of Science has been circulated to the school’s staff and its management and with the Tertiary Education Union.
Staff were invited to submit by March 10, 51 submissions were received and the university decided to disestablish 15 full-time and part-time roles.
The change is part of enabling the School’s Vision and Strategy 2021-26, developed with staff input during 2020.
The university says the restructuring was necessitated by the school experiencing challenging financial situations not relating specifically to Covid-19, but years of escalating staff costs and a decline in students.
The cuts would reduce the deficit for 2021 from $1.93m to $1.17m, and in 2022 the deficit would fall again to $0.64m.
While 12 roles are disestablished, several new ones will be established to better fit the current needs of the school.
The net change is a reduction of 5.2 full-time equivalent academic staff and 1.2 full-time equivalent general staff.
Stuff reported a Waikato University spokesperson as saying the restructuring would allow the university to shift to a more integrated, student-centred approach, with an increase in full-time equivalent roles in teaching, undergraduate support and pastoral care within the School.
“It increases support for students, particularly in their first year when they need it most, so they can stay in science, and makes the future of the school more sustainable.
“We are actively supporting staff to be redeployed to these new roles. We have minimised the roles impacted in the change as much as possible through staff opting to take voluntary redundancy and early retirement.”
The change will not mean a loss of subjects or papers offered at early undergraduate levels.