Ukoln hit by job losses as Jisc removes funding

Data infrastructure centre ‘decimated’, says 16-year veteran

May 9, 2013

Source: Alamy

A university-based centre of expertise that advises on digital infrastructure, information policy and data management across the sector has made two-thirds of its staff redundant after cuts to its funding.

Ukoln, formerly known as the United Kingdom Office for Library and Information Networking, has made 16 of its 24 University of Bath-based staff redundant after the cessation of a £622,000 annual grant from the higher education technology body Jisc.

The grant had been used to fund the Ukoln Innovation Support Centre at Bath, which advised the higher education community on trends in the development and adoption of relevant technologies.

Brian Kelly, who currently holds the post of UK Web Focus at Ukoln, said he is to lose his job after 16 years of employment at the centre.

He said the cuts had “decimated” the organisation, and that it was a “sad day” when he received his redundancy letter.

“We all understand the difficulties we are in at the moment. However, I worry that the decision to cut funding has been made purely on financial considerations, and has not been informed by any considerations for the value we have provided, and the need to continue support for innovation,” Mr Kelly said.

Liz Lyon, the director of Ukoln, said that she was working with Bath to find additional sources of funding in order to retain staff and to seek redeployments.

“Ukoln is currently facing a difficult period of significant change resulting from the recent decision by Jisc to cease core funding,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Jisc said that the decision to discontinue the funding, a move that was announced in December last year, had been made “in light of the current financial situation facing us, and the UK education sector”.

“This decision is no reflection on the excellent work of Ukoln and its staff over the years, which Jisc and the communities we serve have very much valued and appreciated,” she added.

The Ukoln Informatics Research Group, which carries out research into digital information management, will continue at Bath, albeit with a smaller group of experts.

chris.parr@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns