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To: Vice Chancellor and Executive of Macquarie University

Slow Down, Open the Books: Don't Put Macquarie University at Risk

We staff, students, and members of the general public, CALL ON the Vice Chancellor, Professor Bruce Dowton, and Executive of Macquarie University to:

1/ SLOW DOWN, DON'T PUT OUR UNIVERSITY AT RISK: This is not the time to make major, rapid cuts that risk the University's quality education and reputation. No course cuts, no forced redundancies, and keep casual budgets and tutorial learning at current levels in 2021.

2/ OPEN THE BOOKS: Macquarie told the media on June 22 that it expected to 'minimise staff losses'.* Now, we're being told a different story. We need a real, independent evaluation of the University's finances and future enrolments.

3/ PRIORITISE SAVINGS IN NON-CORE AREAS: There are better ways to protect Macquarie than cutting staff, programs, and courses. Reducing capital works ­­spending, drawing on cash reserves and investment income, and safe borrowing must be the University's first priority.

We also CALL ON individual members of the University Council and Academic Senate, the Chancellor and senior members of University community, to publicly oppose these cuts and declare support for the campaign to stop them.

* https://www.afr.com/work-and-careers/education/macquarie-university-surviving-the-pandemic-with-zero-hits-to-staff-20200619-p5545k

Why is this important?

MAJOR CUTS PLANNED: Macquarie University's Vice Chancellor and Executive are drawing up plans to restructure the University. The result will be major cuts to course offerings, cuts to casual staff and a large number of redundancies. We are deeply concerned that such major job losses in the middle of a global recession will not only cause significant hardship, but also compromise Macquarie University's ability to provide quality education for students and world-class research for the Australian community.

WORST STUDENT-STAFF RATIOS ALREADY: Macquarie University is already one of the most poorly staffed universities in the world: Macquarie's staff to student ratio is the worst in Australia, and ninth worst (of 1,400) in the entire world [1].

WE ARE WORTH PROTECTING: Despite these workloads, Macquarie is remarkable: in recent weeks we just broke through the top 200 on Times Higher Education rankings [2].

WHY NOT SHOW US THE EVIDENCE? While the university declares a financial emergency, they have also refused independent scrutiny of the university's financial position.

DON'T RUSH WHEN SO MUCH COULD CHANGE: Moving into 2021, so much could change. Now is not the time to make major, hasty cuts. Slow down! Open the books! Don't put our great institution at risk!

[1] The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2020/world-ranking#!/page/0/length/25/sort_by/stats_student_staff_ratio/sort_order/desc/cols/stats

[2] Macquarie gains highest ever world ranking, 23 Sept 2020. https://www.mq.edu.au/newsroom/2020/09/03/macquarie-gains-highest-ever-world-ranking/


Reasons for signing

  • I love this university
  • Macquarie Uni is the only university in Australia to offer Egyptology. Cutting courses means that current and future students of Egyptoology will be disadvantaged. Further, who knows how many great minds we may never get to hear from because they are discouraged by these cuts and choose a different field?
  • I am about to finish my second year of a four year degree and my qualifying major is in German, which does not have a large student cohort. If the subjects I need to complete in order to finish my major are cut I risk not being able to finish my degree because I don’t have enough free electives to switch to another major at this time in my studies. This uncertainty of which courses and subjects are going to continue to run in the future is unfair to both students and staff.

Updates

2020-09-29 09:18:08 +1000

1,000 signatures reached

2020-09-28 09:31:27 +1000

500 signatures reached

2020-09-25 11:21:23 +1000

100 signatures reached

2020-09-25 09:50:38 +1000

50 signatures reached

2020-09-25 09:20:54 +1000

25 signatures reached

2020-09-25 08:43:42 +1000

10 signatures reached