One seventh of all full-time academic posts at London's South Bank University are to be axed, including the first compulsory redundancies to hit the university sector.
Almost half of the 84 axed posts are to be frozen or deleted and most of the rest are to be shed through natural wastage or voluntary redundancies. Staff representatives say that 12 compulsory redundancy notices have been issued already.
Vice chancellor Gerald Bernbaum has blamed the job losses on a 7.8 per cent funding cut, overstaffing in some departments and the likelihood of having to fund a lecturers' salary increase. Annual pay increments were blamed for swallowing up Pounds 350,000 a year.
Professor Bernbaum said: "I understand the genuine concerns of colleagues but the university has done everything it can to minimise the compulsory redundancies."
They largely affect the domestic science and teacher education department which Professor Bernbaum said had ceased to be viable. Courses in several subjects will be affected by the losses through natural wastage and voluntary redundancy will hit engineering, science and built environment courses.
Natfhe members are furious and voted last week for strike action against the cuts amid claims that the true number of posts lost could eventually top 90. They are calling for a vote of no confidence in Professor Bernbaum and are planning to walk out on June 28.