100 signatures reached
To: Professor Paul Wellings (Vice-Chancellor, University of Wollongong)
Save our Space - Save the UOW Library Art Exhibition Space from demolition
We the undersigned wish to raise with you our concern over the imminent closure of the Panizzi Gallery exhibition space located on the ground floor of the UOW Library. In August 2019 Library staff were advised of plans to close the Gallery as of 1 December 2019. Thereafter, the UOW Library will no long offer an exhibition space for staff, students and the broader community.
We cannot accept losing this successful facility at the University of Wollongong. In recent years, the Panizzi Gallery has functioned as a heavily used, professional exhibition space. This has included hosting a number of internationally recognised exhibitors and exhibitions, speakers and writers, alongside the mounting of exhibitions which highlight UOW archival collections. The Gallery currently has bookings up until late 2021.
We note with some concern that UOW Library staff jobs will be seriously affected if this facility is lost. The reputation of the University may also be damaged by the sudden closure, at a time when it is heavily in demand.
We recognise that changes can occur in a workplace. However, change should not come at the expense of programs and facilities which have been shown to successfully serve a need. In addition, change should only occur after appropriate consultation with affected staff, and that process should mitigate wherever possible, negative effects on staff jobs, staff morale and the capacity of the University to engage with and deliver facilities to students and our broader community.
We note a number of potential alternative solutions or compromises that would enable the exhibitions program to continue, but unfortunately have not been provided any opportunity to discuss these with Library Executive, for example, a potential alternative space in the Innovation Campus (Mike Codd building) is due to be vacated in 2020. If the Library Panizzi Gallery is to be closed, then a public UOW Library exhibition space could easily be transferred to the Innovation Campus. In fact, there is the potential for such a space to develop into an effective location in which to engage with community.
We the undersigned call on you to ensure a UOW Library exhibition space is maintained, in accordance with our responsibilities as a public University to provide facilities which support research, teaching and learning, and to engage with our community.
We look forward to your urgent response in this matter.
Why is this important?
Please read and add your name to the petition to UOW Vice-Chancellor, Prof Paul Wellings. The UOW Library Exhibition Space, next to the Panizzi Cafe on Wollongong Campus, is slated for demolition in December 2019. Affected Library staff have not been properly consulted, jobs may be lost and this highly valuable and rare exhibition space could be lost to Wollongong and our University for ever. We need our VC to intervene and Save Our Space.