London Metropolitan University is to cut nearly 100 administration jobs and close two libraries in the latest blows at the institution.
London Met staff yesterday received an email from Paul Bowler, the deputy chief executive, telling them that 86 professional services jobs will be “deleted”.
Acknowledging that “this communication may be upsetting for some staff”, Mr Bowler says the university will hold “constructive dialogue” with unions.
The email states that the university must find savings so it can make repayments of £10 million to the Higher Education Funding Council for England due in 2011-12.
London Met was ordered to repay a total of £36 million to Hefce after it claimed public money to which it was not entitled using inaccurate data on student completion rates.
Last month, the university announced a radical plan to shrink its course offering, prompting fears that arts and humanities subjects were being closed off to the university’s high proportion of disadvantaged students.
Staff expect hundreds of academic jobs to be cut as a result, and are nervously awaiting official redundancy notices from the university.
In the email about administration job cuts, Mr Bowler says of the Hefce repayments: “We have no choice about this, we have to find the sum from our own resources.”
He adds: “We are proposing to reduce the number of libraries from five to three, though only one library will close in 2011-12.”
Also on the cards is a major restructuring of the professional services departments that will include the merging of library services and student services.
This will also involve “rationalising and reallocating functions currently within the graduate school and research office to other [professional services department] directors and deans”, the email says.
“A move away from external enterprise activity is proposed, whilst remaining committed to student enterprise,” it adds.
In a statement, Mr Bowler says that many of the professional services structures “reflect a different age”. He adds: “These changes, along with a new portfolio of courses for 2012, will help to give London Met a sustainable and secure future.”