“We need growth and cuts” says UWA Senior DVC

University management wants to cut six academic positions from the School of Molecular Sciences, the reasons why apply across campus

In a memo to head of school Martha Ludwig, at the start of the cuts process, seen by CMM, Senior DVC Simon Biggs wrote the university needed to move from an overall student to staff ratio of around 20 to 1 “one that is closer to 24.”

“To give us a sustainable annual surplus, we need to grow the amount we spend on infrastructure (research support for example) by trimming staff costs, noting that professional costs are to be trimmed more than academic,” he wrote.

For Molecular Science, this meant staff reductions and 80 more EFTS.

“The narrative has not shifted really, we need growth and cuts,” Professor Biggs wrote.

The Molecular Sciences savings plan follows a bitter dispute over job losses in the School of Social Sciences, where the original plan is said to now being revised.

Vice Chancellor Amit Chakma says he expects most schools to make saving targets by attrition and early retirement but that there will be “formal restructuring” in seven or eight (CMM August 2).