VC sets out new La Trobe U structure

It replaces one from seven years back

La Trobe U revenue will be down $165m on 2019 income by 2022 and “may not reach” the ’19 figure until 2028, Vice Chancellor John Dewar told staff yesterday.

But the university has a proposal – and it goes way beyond cutting costs.

Core changes include,

* abolishing the two colleges (created in the 2014 restructure) with the ten schools reporting to a provost

* abolishing the School of Molecular Science with its three departments reallocated

* “staffing levels across all schools aligned to teaching and research engagements

* centralising of student administration and engagement, learning/teaching support and industry engagement

* schools to be led by deans, with three associate dean positions.

They have been here before

In 2014, a previous Dewar restructure removed 350 jobs, created the two colleges, now to go and reduced then 15 schools to 11. The savings target then was $65m (CMM June 24 2014).

This led to an almighty brawl with the National Tertiary Education Union, which fought the proposal long and hard and then for a change, hard and long. Five months after the announcement the matter was still in the legal system (CMM November 21 and 24 2014) but in the end the restructure happened.

What happens now

While there will be new jobs under the proposed plan, LT U is already on the record that 200 FTE mainly professional staff positions (positions, not people) will go. Staff in scope will be able to apply for the new jobs they qualify for- which may, or may not, be at present pay grades – it looks to some like a (by many) despised spill and fill.