By Bridgette Glover There has been a mass sacking in the now non-existent computer science department at UNE. After being told that the retrenchment would only go as far as the loss of seven positions, the decision to sack 9 out of 10 positions hit hard.
This choice to basically obliterate the computer science department was part of a spill and fill process by UNE to create a new multi-disciplinary school now called “Computational Science.”
This movement, according to National Tertiary Education Union President Dr Tim Battin, “makes no sense.” Battin explained that management’s original reason for the shift lacked transparency; originally management’s justification was on weak demand for the degree, and then it shifted to low future prospects. Battin explained that this made a mockery of the external review process, making mention of the 9% increase computer science had in 2013 student enrolments, and that there was definitely enough work for the 10 staff members.
“Management have had their sights on this department” says Battin, “and the amazing work by the staff has unfortunately been disregarded.” Only four of the lecturers who were let go appealed for their jobs.