USQ staff cuts begin

According to today’s Toowoomba Chronicle, the staff cuts for the current round of the USQ “Realising our Potential” initiative have begin, with four forced redundancies in the Department of Biological and Physical Sciences, and with 17 further “voluntary” redundancies sought in academic staff across the university, including three positions in mathematics and two in statistics (though there is also one new mathematics teaching liason position and one statistics consulting position that these staff can apply for). There does now appear to be some commitment by the administration to retain the undergraduate maths and stats major (though not the masters program), although with the staff cuts there is likely to be quite severe teaching loads on the remaining staff (the two new positions are non-teaching; also, six staff cuts are planned to the computing division which has shared teaching duties in the past, though many of these cuts will be by attrition as several staff in that division have already quit USQ).

As indicated in the above article, the pressure from the mathematics community and its supporters (including, crucially, some elected officials) has had some success in mitigating the worst effects of the originally planned cuts, but the results are still decidedly mixed. The situation is still rather fluid though; I will post further developments here as they come in.

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