… My School of Economics was dished out its medicine today.
The current School will become part of a Department of Finance and Economics (the lack of alphabetical ordering in the 2 components is significant). Proposed staff cuts in economics are from 28 to 10 faculty. Is that a bloodbath or a restructuring?
The current four professors in the School will be reduced to 1, the 5 Associate Professors will be cut to 2 with smaller cuts as academic level decreases – the only faculty member guaranteed a position in the new structure is an “Associate Lecturer”. Everyone else must lodge a request for a position in the diminished structure.
There are some fine academic economists at La Trobe and there are tough times ahead for them. This is not a good time to be looking for an economics job. The public service is retrenching across the board from Treasury to the Productivity Commission.
I don’t actually know what’s going on at La Trobe – I’ve heard very conflicting stories. Whatever the truth of the matter is, restructuring incurs high human costs and we should always spare a thought for those people who are staring down the barrel of retrenchment.