An estimated revenue shortfall of around $50million is being addressed through a cost reduction programme aimed at minimising impact on students and staff at Auckland University of Technology (AUT).
AUT Vice-Chancellor Derek McCormack says a range of measures will help the organisation address the financial impact of COVID-19.
“Thanks to everyone’s efforts, we are continuing to adapt extremely well to the changes created by COVID-19. One of the most obvious issues we face is our financial situation. We entered this crisis with stable finances, but like most organisations AUT is facing a serious challenge.
“Ultimately, we want to continue delivering to our students, and to look after staff to the best of our abilities, by avoiding compulsory redundancies,” he said.
Staff are being asked to volunteer to not spend personal development funds, to participate in temporary redeployments or to volunteer to reduce their proportion of work and pay. Staff can also choose to contribute to a new student support fund to assist students disadvantaged by the pandemic.
The university has announced a freeze on increases to higher paid roles until July 2021, based on the guidance of the State Services Commission. A recruitment freeze and ban on International travel is in place for the rest of the year.
Vice-Chancellor McCormack and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Kath McPherson have taken a pay cut of 20% for the next six months, but clarified other staff are not expected to do this.
The cost reduction programme will ensure the university can invest in the priorities of delivering to and for our students and contributing to New Zealand and its recovery.