CANBERRA — On April 12 the Australian National University council announced a review of the structure and programs of all faculties in order to reduce an alleged 15% deficit in funding. The review will be carried out by a committee chaired by the deputy vice-chancellor and will include the presidents of the student association and the postgraduate students association.
No representatives of academic staff or their union (the National Tertiary Education Industry Union) have been asked to take part, despite the fact that the review is likely to propose further staff cuts.
The ANU council says that the deficit is a result of the large cuts in university funding from the federal government, but the university is also boosting the Endowment for Excellence, a capital reserve fund for pet projects, like the master of business administration program, rather than supporting quality educational facilities for the main part of the student body and staff wages.
Pangea PR offensive
Pangea Resources, the consortium which wants to dump 75,000 tonnes of high-level nuclear waste in Australia, has launched a public relations offensive with the release of a glossy brochure and the use of focus groups to gauge public opinion.
The brochure reveals that Pangea's original promises — that dedicated port and rail facilities would be used if the project proceeds — have been ditched. Instead, Pangea's "state of the art" ships will use a "dedicated and secure" dock at an existing port, existing rail lines will be used, and roads will be used if rail transport is not available.