Music school plan to go ahead

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ANU Vice-Chancellor Prof Ian Young has today handed down the ANU’s final verdict on the School of Music’s upheaval, with minimal changes made to its original plan.

Currently, the School of Music is running at a deficit of $2.9 million a year, double the ANU’s subsidy amount to the school of $1.4 million. Last month’s announcement of a complete upheaval of the school including job cuts and a change of curriculum structure were to fix that shortfall of $1.5 million.

Prof Young said that the ANU received more than 700 submissions as part of the plan’s six-week consultation period. He said six staff were in charge of reading the all submissions over four weeks. The ANU also worked with the National Tertiary Education Union and “consulted broadly” with them on the new implementation plan.

As part of the plans, jobs will be cut – from 24 full time equivalent academic staff members down to 13, and 10 administration jobs cut to eight, with staff either facing redeployed, early retirement, transition to part time employment or “last-resort” redundancy, which could cost the university between $1 to $3 million.

The new Bachelor of Music degree structure has been “simplified” and will include two steams of study; music performance and music inquiry. The model is  based on music schools at Cambridge, Oxford and Harvard and will take a “university” structure opposed to a “conservatorium” structure.

Students will also receive a minimum of one hour a week of one-to-one tuition, the same as what students receive now.

Prof Young said all staff changes will be complete by the end of the year, while current students will be complete the degree that they have enrolled in.

“There will be staff that will immediately put their hand up and say they want to separate,” he said.

“There are  a number of staff who are quite keen to have a separation.”

He said he does expect a decrease in enrollments due to the changes, however the university has installed a series of “scenario plans” to deal with enrollment problems as they arise.

He said it could take up to three years before they will see the School flourish again after the changes.

Prof Howard Morphy, director of the Research School of Humanities and the Arts, will continue acting as head of school until a replacement is found.

PHOTO: ANU vice-chancellor Prof Ian Young. Photo by Silas Brown.

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