Academic decline

By Eric Crampton 24/11/2014 1

I knew that the numbers of academics at U Canterbury had dropped. I didn’t know that it was this bad. The Tertiary Education Union reports on the numbers:

Based on the change in proportion of FTC academic staff in 2014 compared to 2012 (column 3 of Table 3), the University of Canterbury was shifting academic staff at between two and six times the rate of the other universities, and on average 4.5 times the rate of the other universities. Substituting the change over the average employment of the period (column 2 Table 3), the University of Canterbury was shifting staff faster than all universities, as much as 32 times faster than AUT and on average 9.2 times faster than all other universities.

The TEU also notes that it isn’t just the earthquakes but rather a re-focusing within the University: the proportion of full-time continuing administrative staff is up 16%. The number of administrators per academic has increased substantially as the number of academics has dropped.

They report also that the ratio of full-time continuing academic staff to all staff has dropped substantially since 2012: if my algebra isn’t wrong and their numbers are right, it’s about 40% of what it was.

Their figures look at the change since 2012. I know that the Economics Department was shedding staff very shortly after the September 2010 earthquakes: we lost two to Waikato really quickly. Those early shifts won’t be in the TEU figures.

Kudos to the TEU for putting this out. As I understand things, they represent both academic and administrative staff; I never joined partially because of worries that they did a bit more to protect the general staff against restructuring than they did to emphasise the academic side. That they’re now noting the decline in academic staff as proportion of staff is significant.

One Response to “Academic decline”

  • One academic arriving in Wellington equates to (at least) two academics in Christchurch Eric.

    On the other hand, the university could just be readjusting the denominator in the Papers/Academic ratio………