out go the uni staff, clip, clip, clip!

  1. 4,434 Posts.
    I bet the weasel will have a grin the size of a church as he announces that... "things would be worse under Labour!"
    Clip, Clip, Clip!
    Uni job cuts as students flee IT
    By David Rood
    Higher Education Reporter
    November 30, 2004
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    For almost a decade it was the university's boom faculty, a magnet for thousands of young students who dreamed of high-paid jobs in the world's fastest growing industry.

    Now, after the end of the information technology boom, the IT faculty at Monash University has also fallen on harder times. With the contraction in IT job prospects, student numbers have plunged by almost a third in two years, and the university is looking at cutting up to 100 staff from its IT faculty.

    Faculty head Ron Weber yesterday confirmed that a faculty review and restructure could result in up to 70 academic and 30 administration jobs being lost.

    In a memorandum to faculty staff, seen by The Age, Professor Weber said full-time IT student numbers had been in "marked decline" since 2002 when 5800 students were enrolled. Next year the faculty expects fewer than 4000 full-time students, below the numbers it initially predicted. "We ignore these dramatic changes to our circumstances at our peril," he wrote.

    As a result of a strategic review, the number of undergraduate courses will be halved, from eight to four, and the number of schools reduced from seven to five.

    IT faculty staff contacted by The Age were frustrated by confusion about how the review would be implemented. Several staff expressed bitterness that the university had treated IT like a "cash cow".

    "The IT faculty has literally poured millions into the university over the last 10 years, and been the leading IT school in Australia," one staff member said. "Many staff feel very much they've been hit in the neck."

    Professor Weber said the number of job losses was difficult to predict as the transition process to the new faculty structure would not be known until at least March. "We're not just going to go through a situation where there's an immediate termination of jobs. This will be a careful process," he said.

    Professor Weber said the downturn in the IT market was being felt across all Australian universities as well as internationally, following the dot-com bust. "Whenever you get into a difficult situation you have to reflect and from that we've got a much stronger degree structure," he said.

    President of the Monash branch of the National Tertiary Education Union, Carol Williams, said the university was taking a short-term view and could afford to cross-subside the faculty.

    Dr Williams said Monash was prepared to take advantage in exploding IT growth from 1994 to 2002 but "cut you off dead" when times were bad. "Of course in three years time they'll find they need to hire staff again," she said.

    She would not rule out industrial action, but said any such action would be directed at the university, not the faculty.

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