Deakin U proposes a new structure and job losses

Last year the university cut 300 positions – management is back for more

The university announced a proposal for a new structure yesterday and got straight down to grim realities. Management sets out comprehensive organisational change across the university and estimates 180-220 positions will go.

The university is careful to state that no decisions are made and a two-week consultation started yesterday. It will be followed by a further fortnight of “review and change informed by feedback.”

The proposal is the outcome of the “Deakin reimagined” project, in the works for six months to ensure services, “are effective, cohesive, and aligned to core purposes’ and “to secure Deakin’s financial future”.

It is a comprehensive plan, especially for admin functions, with some now decentralised services consolidated. Deakin U observers suggest professional staff will account for most job losses, which are expected to include senior positions.

But there will be academic job losses as welll including around 20 positions in Business and Law, a net loss of 30 or so academic positions in Arts and Education. The Health faculty appears unscathed but Science, Engineering and Built Environment faces a net loss suggested to be around 50 positions.

The new plan follows 2020 when around 300 positions went after a long and bitterly contested industrial process.

National Tertiary Education Union branch president Piper Rodd said yesterday the union is “devastated” by the news, “the quality of education for our students is harmed (and) “Deakin has demonstrated a consistent lack of compassion for staff.”