Union slams ANU’s ‘savage cuts’ to School of Music

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) released the statement below on June 15.

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The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has condemned today’s announcement by the ANU Vice-Chancellor Ian Young to savagely cut the School of Music.

ACT Division Secretary, Stephen Darwin, said: “It is now apparent that ANU has engaged in a sham consultation process around its proposed cuts to the School of Music, as despite overwhelming staff, student and community opposition, nothing has changed.

“As was pointed out by so many students, staff and community members in the consultation process, these cuts will comprehensively undermine the high quality learning offered by the School and will rob the ANU and the Canberra community of prestigious musical teaching talent and students.

“It is the outstanding performers and teachers of the School of Music that have brought students here to study. Under this plan they will be made redundant and performance teaching will be outsourced to teachers willing to get by on a few casual hours’ work per semester. School of Music staff have unanimously said they will not work on that basis.

“The university has failed to justify these cuts, and has demonstrated incredible disrespect to School of Music staff and students.

“ANU management has also failed to provide any business plan, and has provided scant detail on the curriculum, which has been created with no proper discipline or university-level scrutiny.”

The NTEU believes today's decision calls into immediate question the ability of the Vice-Chancellor to effectively lead Australia's national university.

Darwin said: “The Vice-Chancellor's obsession with producing an enormous surplus could now cost the ANU and the Canberra community the national asset that is the internationally renowned School of Music.”

The NTEU will now immediately initiate an industrial response to challenge today's announcement on the School of Music.

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