1 June 2011

UC-CIT marriage not going smoothly

| johnboy
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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.

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Too funny – UC with its banal executive team have alienated their staff body badly. I’ve witnessed the recruitment of unqualified staff as lecturers at UC over the last two years. A formal demand by overseas students for a refund of their fees – one of the nepotees had been so grossly incompetent in his teaching – appears to have been hushed up by UC management.

Sounds like sour grapes, bd84.

Any institution can be mismanaged. UC attempted to make savings by outsourcing work and paying off staff. Outsourcing caries many hidden costs; there are few successful experiences. I gather different accountants could interpret UC’s books in different ways and depending upon your stance or the barrow you were pushing UC was broke or running okay depending upon which accountant you used. CIT can’t cook the books or have ambiguous accounting. The ACT auditors who scrutinse every year would soon pick up anything out of the ordinary. CIT like any government agency runs on the funds provided by the government. It’s a bit difficult to run at a profit or loss; it just operates within its budget.

Anyway, I guess if there is a merger both entities will have to start again under a new act of pariament. I hope it gets a new name. I’ve been thinking of CIT University, or Canberra University of Technology, or ACT University of Technology, or Canberra Institute. Though I suspect the current VC would prefer a name closer to his own and might like to see it named the Stephen Parker University. Very American.

How about we go for neither. Both leak money like the titanic and have little hope of seeing any improvement, plus the management of both is a shambles and either way it would be like a blind man being given blind guide dog. An enlarged version of either is not a good thing, there’s already too many people trying to bail out the sinking ships.

They should abolish both entities and their structures and start again with totally new management and structure.

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