12 Oct 2017

160 jobs to go at Otago University

2:33 pm on 12 October 2017

Otago University has confirmed it will cut 160 full-time support staff jobs.

Clocktower of University of Otago Registry Building in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Photo: 123RF

The university began consulting in July on plans to cut 182 positions, as part of a review of its support services that began in 2015.

The tertiary education provider employs 2300 full-time general staff.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne said it had been 20 years since administrative services were comprehensively reviewed.

The cuts will save nearly $15 million each year, which could go further towards core academic and research endeavours, Professor Hayne said.

The staffing cuts will be made over several years, she said.

The university received submissions on the proposed changes from 611 groups and individuals.

"We took a little more time than initially envisaged as we consulted widely and were very considered in our deliberation and decisions," Professor Hayne said.

"There is no doubt that feedback from staff has strengthened the business model that I presented today.

"The overwhelming feedback was generally supportive of the model. There is wide recognition that we need to change the way we do business in several areas and we need to focus our collective efforts to get this right."

A number of universities in Australia and New Zealand had already completed similar reviews and made significant changes in recent years and others were planning changes, she said.

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