Bristol announces 250 jobs to go by 2011-12

Vice-chancellor tells staff that cuts are accompanied by wider review identifying where university is ‘wasting resources’ in a bid to find £15m savings, reports John Morgan

November 11, 2009

The University of Bristol must cut 250 jobs by 2011-12 and find annual savings of £15 million, its vice-chancellor has told staff.

Eric Thomas has written to Bristol staff with an update on the financial position in a letter published on the university’s website on 11 November.

Professor Thomas says: “Regrettably, since staff costs account for about two thirds of all our expenditure, it will not be possible to avoid a further reduction in the number of jobs.

“We estimate that we will have to shed about 250 more posts by 2011-12. This represents about 5 per cent of the total number of jobs at the university.

“We are keen to make the reduction through voluntary means as far as possible, and through improvements to organisational structures and ways of working.”

On the current financial position, Professor Thomas tells staff that the higher-than-expected cost of the October 2008 pay award and the costs of the university’s voluntary severance scheme were key factors.

He says: “We budgeted for a £6 million operating surplus in 2008-09 but now expect to report a £4 million deficit. In other words, we are £10 million adrift.”

Current measures to address the financial position include a review of academic activity and structures, Professor Thomas says.

He notes that “faculties are specifically reviewing their performance, operations and structure in a quest for improvements to the way they pursue their academic goals”.

And he cites a review of support processes, “from managing finances to recruiting students”, which has identified a number of ways in which the university is “wasting resources”.

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