Stop cutting jobs and closing libraries at the University of Auckland
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As of June 2018, the University of Auckland's management has proposed slashing several jobs and closing down several libraries as part of a process of restructuring and centralisation. These include:
- Cutting 45 full-time jobs at the Libraries and Learning Services Te Tumu Herenga. There are also plans close down the branch libraries in the music, fine arts, and architecture schools as well as the Epsom and Tamaki campuses. While I can understand the rationale behind selling off the Tamaki and Epsom campuses and centralizing operations in the City, Grafton, and Newmarket campuses, closing down the music, fine arts, and architecture libraries would diminish the University's research collection and deprive students in those faculties of learning spaces. More of us may be using computers and online resources but keeping the music, fine arts, and architecture libraries would provide students with direct access to study and research material.
- Slashing five jobs at the School of Music. Music may not be get the same glamour as the STEM subjects but music is an integral part of life. Please don't damage the human resources and knowledge capital at the School of Music.
- Plans to cut 23.4 teaching jobs at the Faculty of Education and Social Work despite New Zealand currently facing its worse teaching shortage crisis in years. We need more teachers and cutting back on teaching training only makes the situation worse. Foreign-trained teachers wanting to teach in NZ schools also have to leap through many bureaucratic hurdles. I don't see how cutting teaching jobs will help rectify the situation.
- Chopping 11.8 jobs at the School of Languages, Culture, and Linguistics. We live in an increasingly interconnected and multicultural world where it is important to learn other languages. These cuts would hurt our foreign language training capabilities as a university. The language school has been ranked no. 41 in the 2018 QS World University Rankings for modern languages and linguistics. Slashing jobs would hurt Auckland University's international standing.
These cuts would threaten the quality of teaching and research at New Zealand's top university. They may help to "balance the books" in the short term but they will hurt the University of Auckland's knowledge and skills base in the long term. Please don't do it at the expense of cutting back on staff numbers, libraries, and services at this university. Students have already made it clear that they oppose these job cuts, reduced services, and destruction of learning spaces.
It is sad that the University of Auckland's leadership can still justify spending $33,000 on membership at the exclusive Northern Club at a time when we are making significant cutbacks to staff numbers, libraries, and student services. I implore Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon and the leadership of this University to set their priorities right. Universities are not degree mills that solely aim to make a profit. They also seek to educate tomorrow's workforce and exist to foster learning and research.
Please think of future generations of students and staff at the University of Auckland. These proposed cutbacks, library closures, and restructuring of services would only hurt us as a university in the long term. Thank you very much for your time and cooperation.
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