Guildhall set to axe 84 jobs

March 15, 1996

London Guildhall University is set to axe 84 jobs and freeze pay for a year in an attempt to secure its survival, writes Huw Richards.

The cuts, including 23 academic posts - eight at head of department or above - are part of LGU's plans to save Pounds 5 million over the next three years.

Provost Roderick Floud said: "We very much want to avoid compulsory redundancies, but we can't guarantee it."

Other plans include: * Merging the department of geography into politics and modern history * Maths to continue only as a part of, or in combination with, other subjects * Shelving a planned Pounds 5 million independent learning centre * Reorganisation of non-teaching departments and the axing of faculties.

The university will now be organised by department.

The proposals, revealed to the 825 staff this week, were drawn up by a steering group run by the vice-chair of governors Sir John Sellars. They will go to the governors on April 1, following three weeks of intensive internal consultation.

The report says: "It is clear that if no action is taken, the university is not financially viable . . . it would before long in such circumstances have to cease trading." Professor Floud said that existing problems - which had already led to the calling in of consultants Coopers and Lybrand and the setting up of the steering group - had been exacerbated by last November's budget, which cut LGU's projected income by a further Pounds 1 million by 1998/99.

He said: "It would not be sensible to maintain that the quality of education won't be affected. There is no sign that the quality of output will be affected, but the quality of student experience has been and will be affected."

Colin Inns, secretary of the LGU Natfhe co-ordinating committee, said that the steering group had taken too pessimistic a view. "They should have been looking for ways of increasing income-generation". He said the union would resist the pay freeze which would cut across national agreements.

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