When i got the email “Academic Enterprise Review” from the Uni i had a profound sense of deja voodoo after reading the text and the sub-text.
When i’m told, “we will be able to achieve the required improvement in our finances without the need for significant staff losses” this means there will indeed be staff losses and that they will indeed be very significant for the people being deleted, erased, outsourced, euthanized or otherwise made redundant.
When i’m told there will be, “a reduction in the number of faculties to four” this means many of the staff suffering their significant personal losses will, in all likelihood, be senior academics of great standing in top level positions. So the university will lose a tranche of academic heavy-weights with serious experience and skills and thereby lose standing in the academic world both within Australia and globally.
When i’m told, “schools and central support areas will be asked to make some modest savings” i know all students and staff will have to deal with diminished levels of academic and ancillary support.
When i’m told the review (which i sure as dickens wasn’t aware of), “recommends reviewing some aspects of the management of research costs and activities” it looks like academic thesis advisors will have their work loads increased and that there will be a profound shift away from pure research towards research that has commercial applications so there are financial spin-offs for the university. So much for learning for learning’s sake.
When i’m told, “the vast majority of students will notice no change” i’m well aware of the conceit that students will be so busy trying to get their degrees with diminished levels of support that they won’t have time to deal with the restructuring at a grass-roots level.
When i note the email is signed by by an Associate Professor in an Acting capacity i am assured heads are already rolling and no senior leader in the university wished to be associated with this message. It seems obvious that the announcement is not being heralded as something positive or beneficial in the general academic community within the university but, of course, most everyone is too scared of losing their job to speak out.
So, Mr. Murdoch, instead of spending your hard-earned money supporting the G.O.P. in the U.S.A. (a recent US$1,000,000 donation) and your valuable time trying to muscle your media machine into my ‘home and native land’ of Canada with your Fox News North initiative, i would like to modestly propose that your time and money are better spent trying to improve the University which bears your family name rather than trying to squeeze more blood out of the academic stones of Murdoch University.
p.s. just learned that the Uni is named after Sir Walter Murdoch! Was Sir Walter Rupert’s Grand daddy or uncle? The above points still apply: Rupert, baby, spend your money in Australia doing good deeds. Take a lesson from Daddy Warbucks!