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Shepparton university jobs may be lost

Jobs at the Shepparton campus of La Trobe University may be cut in an institution-wide restructure.

JARROD WHITTAKER March 3, 2014 4:40am

Jobs at La Trobe University’s Shepparton campus could be at risk, with the institution announcing it will shed 350 full-time equivalent jobs as part of a restructure.

The cuts are part of a restructure designed to save the university $65million.

University vice-chancellor Professor John Dewar said in a statement about 85 per cent of the 2666 full-time equivalent staff positions would continue.

However, 350 fewer full-time equivalent positions would be required.

It is unknown how La Trobe’s Shepparton campus will be affected.

The restructure will result in the university’s five faculties being combined into two colleges in October.

They will be known as the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce and the College of Science, Health and Engineering.

Money saved will be used to increase research output, improve student experience and modernise university structures.

Professor Dewar said changes would be implemented progressively in different work areas in coming months, but would soon begin in some administrative functions.

‘‘Changes will be felt right across La Trobe University, but we will retain and strengthen what is most important,’’ he said.

‘‘We remain committed to our presence in regional Victoria, to offering our students a quality education, producing the highest standards of research and intellectual inquiry.’’

The statement said impacts on staff members would be determined through the processes outlined in the university’s collective agreement.

La Trobe’s strategic plan outlines its goals to increase research and the number of equivalent full-time students at regional campuses.

The university hopes to increase the number of students studying at its regional campuses to 7300 by 2017, up from 5470 in 2011.

La Trobe’s Shepparton campus offers studies in a range of areas, including business, arts, nursing and post-graduate teaching.

Victoria Opposition regional and rural development spokeswoman Jacinta Allan said regional jobs and courses needed to be protected.

‘‘Regional communities need strong, local universities so young people aren’t forced to move to Melbourne for work or study,’’ Ms Allan said.

‘‘Denis Napthine needs to stand up to Tony Abbott and demand that no jobs or courses are cut in regional Victoria.’’

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