SCU have announced job cuts following a dramatic reduction in international students.
SCU have announced job cuts following a dramatic reduction in international students.

Southern Cross University announces more job cuts

SOUTHERN Cross University has announced they will cut as many as 63 full-time positions in an effort to balance the books.

Like all universities, SCU has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and today Vice Chancellor Tyrone Carlin addressed staff regarding major reforms.

This round of cuts adds to the round of voluntary redundancies announced in September, in which 71 positions were lost. 

In a statement released this afternoon, the university characterised the reforms as a 'road map to a stronger financial footing'.

"Unfortunately this also involves some job losses as the University adjusts to a series of external shocks," Professor Carlin said.

"This is, in part, a response to the really challenging and significant impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, including the loss of international students."

It is unknown how this will affect the Coffs Harbour campus, which has only just opened its $3.2 million training hub for health students.

The university will begin talking with affected staff tomorrow, with the process expected to continue until November, when the final number of job losses in Coffs Harbour will be confirmed.

The $3.2m Health Sciences building opens in November.
The $3.2m Health Sciences building opens in November.

The reforms will reduce six academic schools to four academic faculties - Health, Science and Engineering, Education and Business, Law and Arts.

SCU says the changes will bring together expertise, reduce duplication and ensure the very best teachers interact with as many students as possible.

"The proposed changes are also designed to take account of an additional set of forces that will be brought to bear on the University as a result of recently legislated changes to Commonwealth funding arrangements for education and research," Professor Carlin said. 

"There is no easy option for Southern Cross and we have done all we can to minimise job losses. Wherever appropriate staff will be offered redeployment opportunities but there will be some roles that are no longer required

"Importantly, our commitment to our three main campuses at Lismore, Coffs Harbour and the Gold Coast remains steadfast.

"This has been a challenging year for almost everyone in Australia but these reforms will make Southern Cross University stronger and more viable as we step into an ever more competitive higher education landscape."

Southern Cross announced earlier this year that the COVID-induced crisis had created a budget shortfall in 2020-21.

Initially forecast at $38 million, that figure has been revised down to $33m and non-salary savings of almost $10 million have been made so far this year.

Southern Cross is teaching all classes online at present, with most staff working from home as the COVID-19 restrictions continues to have an impact.