In reaction to proposed staff reductions at the University of Dundee, the Dundee University College Union is calling on staff and students to lobby the University Court. The Court is scheduled to discuss the plan, which the union calls “divisive and ill conceived”, during its meeting later today.
DUCU president Janice Aitken said in a statement to DUSA Media: “It is clear that his proposal is not in the best interests of students, who have already noticed the significant reductions in staff available to teach and support them.”
She invited students to join staff the rally at 1 PM in front of the Bonar Hall.
Aitken said there were better ways for the University to improve its finances: “One way could perhaps be to re-examine the College structure that is very heavy on highly paid senior managers who do not directly contribute to the quality of student experience.”
She also said the union had written Court members to express its concerns. “We are also asking for a much more transparent examination of the finances in the University in terms of why staff costs are being blamed for the lack of surplus even though spending on staff has gone down considerably over the last few years,” she added.
DUSA has not yet taken an official position on the issue, although many SRC members questioned the plan when University principal Pete Downes addressed the council last Tuesday.
DUSA’s president, Iain MacKinnon, declined to comment on the rally.
MacKinnon, who as president of DUSA sits on the Court, said: “I will be at Court on Monday ensuring that the [University’s] senior management team properly justify any actions which they are proposing, and making sure that they are sincere when they state that the student experience will not be affected.”
MacKinnon said he and Marija Tasevska, the independent member of Court, will ensure that the Court hears students’ concerns.