Victoria University is in danger of “becoming known as a teaching university with a limited research arm,” the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union warns.
The prediction follows VU’s announced plan to restructure research (CMM September 21). Management proposes a central unit supervising research and managing research training instead of leaving it in the six HE colleges and 12 centres and institutes.
However, the union says up to 90 staff have already left, “many with a view to pursuing their successful and important research at other universities” and that a survey reveals 65 per cent of responding academics fear the new structure will have a negative impact on their research. The number of research active staff could halve, the NTEU warns.
“The NTEU is puzzled as to why the existing college deans have acquiesced to this loss of control over staffing and financial resources dedicated to research.”
Last night a university spokesperson said, “VU Research will support the university to maximise research and research training performance by directing available resources towards supporting high quality and high impact research in the university’s flagship areas of strength and focus, and that management has been consulting with staff as well as higher degree students and their supervisors since May.
“The impact that VU Research will have on college based academic staff will vary and is dependent on academics’ current roles, responsibilities and/or research priorities, foci, activities and research performance.”