Ross Giblin / Staff
Victoria University Vice President Grant Guilford told staff during his Christmas speech that the university will have to make tough decisions early next year. (File photo)
Victoria University staff say they feel “guilty” of quitting their jobs after a Christmas speech by the university’s vice president.
At a staff Christmas party on Tuesday, Grant Guilford said that before February 2021, the university needed access to international students, a significant increase in domestic enrollment, and Strong understanding of the voluntary layoff plan.
“At the moment, none of these three things look particularly promising.” He said to the assembled staff.
“Unfortunately, it seems increasingly likely that to fulfill our obligations to Kaitiakitanga and intergenerational responsibility, we will face difficult decisions early next year.”
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Then he wished the employees a well-deserved break, and asked them to enjoy it “to the fullest extent possible”.
The co-chair of the Federation for Higher Education chapter, Doug McNeill, said employees felt guilty of leaving their jobs, just before Christmas, although the voluntary redundancy scheme is open until January 27.
The message was consistent with what they had heard throughout the year, but it was inappropriate to bring it up at the Christmas party.
Employees felt that dubious spending decisions were being made, He represented the Student Success Project with a value of $ 16.7 million, Of which $ 1.6 million was written off, with an external audit from PricewaterhouseCoopers identifying another $ 3.4 million at risk. Another $ 6 million was earmarked for the project over the next two years.
McNeill wondered who would quit when the staff were unsure that the top leadership would interest the university.
But Guilford said Things Honesty and transparency were important, and he did not want to smooth over the situation.
The university needed a $ 50 million transformation to become sustainable by 2022.
At this point, 20 employees raised their hands to consider voluntary redundancies, although Guilford said it was still too early. Without any other cost-cutting measures, the university would have to cut around 280 equivalent full-time employees.
The university saw a 2-3 percent increase in domestic enrollment for the first third of the semester, and it had been hoping that would rise to 10 percent when it began in 2021.
The university council is due to meet in February to discuss the financial situation, including whether mandatory measures are needed, such as layoffs.
Discount courses were on the table as well, although Guilford said it was customary for the university to review what was on display each year. Its policy is to keep as many training courses as possible, but this needs to be compensated for the employees’ workload.
The Guilford speech also took time to recognize the university’s most successful year in terms of Marsden Fund grants (grants for research initiated by investigators), work the university researchers have been doing on research and evaluation of the Covid-19 vaccine in the country, and the Times Higher Education. Ranking in the top 40 universities in the world for social impact and commitment.
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