Worse to come at La Trobe U

VC John Dewar tells staff that last year was better than this will be, with revenue down $170m on pre-pandemic forecast

 LT U’s 2020 result was an operating deficit of $9m, on revenues $90m lower than the pre Covid-19 estimate. Professor Dewar attributes it to quickly moving to reduce non-salary expenditure and the voluntary redundancies and temporary pay reductions agreed with the National Tertiary Education Union. “The prompt action we took last year has set the university on a strong path to long-term sustainability,” he says.

But that path will be long, as well as strong. With international students returning this year “unlikely,” revenue recovery will be delayed until 2023.

“The challenges we face have not diminished,” the VC adds.

And so, the university Transformation Programme will continue, with the focus “on courses and subjects with strong demand” and on “continuing to improve the efficiency of services and business operations.”

Which all alarms the campus branch of the NTEU, “we are extremely disappointed to see that the university’s position is as dire as presented in the VC’s email, and we will be seeking further information from the VC next week,” a representative told CMM last night