Cuts put 100 jobs at risk

March 29, 2002

Up to 100 jobs may go at Queen Mary, University of London, under plans being drawn up to cope with cuts to research funding.

Principal Adrian Smith plans "substantial staffing reductions" in the School of Medicine and Dentistry and has acknowledged that the scale of the deficit "is such that we must recognise that a potential redundancy situation now exists". The school is based in Barts and the London hospital.

The school was already in financial trouble, running an annual deficit of £2 million. Had the results of the research assessment exercise been fully funded, the school would have seen a 44 per cent cash boost. Instead, it faces a 36 per cent cut in research funding and the deficit is now predicted to be £4.6 million. Savings of this size could cost about 100 jobs, according to union estimates.

The news was broken to staff in an email from the principal last Friday. He stated that he would be asking the college council to consider setting up a redundancy committee. The council was meeting as The THES went to press.

A spokesman for the Association of University Teachers said: "For the principal to talk about redundancies is utterly premature. There was no dialogue and no contact with staff prior to this email. I think it quite miserly, sending it out on the last Friday before the Easter break."

Professor Smith said: "This is a hit on research funding and has nothing to do with teaching and clinical inputs. Staff can be rebadged to do clinical work - the National Health Service has staff shortages and would love to have them. It's about focusing much more on our research efforts and rationalising resources."

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