Charles Sturt University’s (CSU) decision to restructure its faculties will lead to a more level playing field across the institution, according to vice-chancellor Professor Andrew Vann.
The university council last week approved a controversial proposal to reduce its number of faculties from four to three –a plan which has come in for heavy criticism by the union supporting academic staff.
However, Professor Vann insists the new model will provide a better experience for staff and students.
“We really need to deliver consistent, effective service across the university and restructuring the faculties to three even-sized faculties is going to allow us to deliver the great education and service we need to our students,” he said.
The previous model featured two large faculties and two smaller ones, with change deemed necessary to standardise support structures available across the university, according to Professor Vann.
The new model will be rolled out from April next year and it is hoped it will be fully implemented by the start of the second semester in 2016.
The decision to move ahead with the reform and cut the number of faculties by a quarter has however been criticised by the CSU branch of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU).
In a statement issued following the academic senate’s approval of the plan, the NTEU said the change process had been “characterised by secrecy (and) a lack of genuine consultation”.
“We will continue to campaign against these moves and represent the concerns of our members to CSU management in an attempt to encourage better consultation and the investigation of alternatives to these proposed job cuts,” David Ritchie, president of the CSU branch of the NTEU, said.
According to CSU, the model will result in the loss of 3.8 full-time professional and technical staffpositions.
Professor Vann said the university council’s approval of the proposal would give certainty to staff and students following a protracted consultation process.
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