The Australian has a story on problems with expectation management in the merger plans for the University of Canberra and the Canberra Institute of Technology:
In an email to staff last week, UC vice-chancellor Stephen Parker set out 15 principles for any amalgamation, including that CIT become a division of the university, subject to the university’s enlarged academic board. Under such an arrangement, CIT chief executive Adrian Marron would report to Professor Parker.
The email said the enlarged university “should be based upon parity of esteem between its higher education and vocational functions”. Professor Parker also said there should be no compulsory redundancies attributable to a merger during any transition phase.
But the Australian Education Union, which represents TAFE teachers, accused Professor Parker of being “high handed”.
“He makes it clear that he sees it as an absorption of CIT into UC,” AEU federal TAFE secretary Pat Forward said.
A key concern remained that a merger risked undermining CIT’s focus on vocational education and training, she said.
In its own position statement CIT’s advisory board said any amalgamation must ensure the availability and viability of the full range of vocational qualifications.
“From a strong base institutions such as CIT and UC can come together as equal but complementary partners to explore ways in which Canberra can position itself as Australia’s learning capital,” it said.
It would have been nice if these issues had been thought through before the annoucement.