Guildhall slims to survive

November 17, 1995

London Guildhall University is to look for fresh savings of around Pounds 2 million in the next three years as it aims to secure its finances.

"Targeted severances" are likely to be a significant item in the cuts as the institution attempts to move from its present position, close to break-even on income and expenditure, to a surplus of Pounds 2 million by 1998/99. Senior staff could be among those to go. The Coopers and Lybrand report which forms the basis for proposals which went to LGU governors this week included the suggestion that the institution "simplify and de-layer", which could make some posts at head of department and above vulnerable.

Governors were due to consider a proposal that a working party chaired by vice-chair of governors John Sellars, former chief executive of BTEC, assisted by deputy provost Nigel Brown, who would be freed from duties other than resource allocation for the next four months, and including governors and staff representatives, should carry out a full review of the institution's strategy, mission, provision and academic and support structures which would identify the necessary savings.

Coopers and Lybrand argued that: "The university must either implement a radical review of its entire operation or it may fail to survive as an independent institution." The only alternative, it said, was merger with another institution.

The report has been accepted by the senior management team of the university, and by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Roderick Floud, provost, said that merely breaking even left the institution seriously vulnerable to fluctations in costs or income.

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