The University of Newcastle has revealed details of the the first changes it proposes to make to the institution's organisational structure in an effort to achieve financial sustainability over the next five years.
The change, signalled in July, affects the five faculties - education and arts, business and law, science, engineering and built environment, and health and medicine - that currently deliver teaching and research.
As part of the 2020-2025 Looking Ahead Strategic Plan, which aims to achieve financial sustainability, the faculties will become the College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing, the College of Engineering, Science and Environment and the College of Human and Social Futures.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky said the college structure was designed to benefit students by improving opportunities to work with industry and businesses during study and by enhancing the university's teaching and learning.
A consultation paper regarding the structure of the colleges released this week proposed net reduction of 12.9 full-time equivalent professional (non-teaching, non-research) staff and no proposed reduction in ongoing or fixed-term academic roles as part of the change.
If implemented, the proposed structure will deliver the university around $2.4million in recurrent annual financial savings.
This figure is made up of the reduction in professional staff roles plus a streamlining of academic management responsibilities and some funding model changes.
"These changes are necessary to help us build a responsive, sustainable university that can deliver our strategic plan and address our financial challenges," Professor Zelinsky said.
"Rather than seeking to drastically reduce staff numbers, our focus has been building strong teams with clear responsibilities, investing in strategic growth roles, and delivering efficient operations.
Staff feedback on the proposed changes closes on 10 December for implementation in the early part of 2021. Redundancies identified in this process will take effect in February 2021 at the earliest.
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