21/10/2020 - 10:00

UWA confirms leadership restructure

21/10/2020 - 10:00

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UWA has revealed it will reduce its executive team as part of an effort to seek $70 million in savings.

UWA confirmed it will now engage in a formal consultation process with staff who are to be affected by the proposed changes. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

The University of Western Australia has revealed it will reduce its executive team in an effort to seek $70 million in savings.

In a statement to Business News, UWA confirmed the university’s senate had approved a strategic reform proposal from vice-chancellor Amit Chakma on Monday that included changes to the university’s executive and senior management structure.

Those changes, subject to consultation with staff and stakeholders, include a smaller executive team, in part through changing from a faculty-led to a school-led academic structure.

Professor Chakma acknowledged the sacrifices staff had already made through agreed variations to enterprise agreements in June, and that now was the time to meet the challenges facing the university head-on.

“It is my responsibility and foremost priority to preserve and build on the proud tradition of our university, positioning us for an ambitious and enduring future and respecting the achievements of our forebears,” he said.

“Strategic reform is critical to our future and I am committed to maintaining a respectful and consultative approach, mindful of the welfare of us all in these challenging times.”

UWA confirmed it will now engage in a formal consultation process with staff who are to be affected by the proposed changes.

It is expected these changes will involve a new line management structure for a small number of employees.

UWA's announcement comes after Murdoch University and Curtin University earlier this year confirmed they would seek savings of up to $45 million and $25 million, respectively.

Murdoch confirmed earlier this month that it would dump lectures, a move that drew sharp criticisms from the National Tertiary Education Union.

Australia's university sector has come under enormous pressure in recent months as the federal government has provided limited support to the sector.

Revenue from onshore, fee-paying international students, which accounted for $507 million in revenue for WA's five major universities last year, is also expected to shrink dramatically in the coming years.

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