Union slams music school decision

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THE National Tertiary Education Union ACT secretary Stephen Darwin has described the ANU’s consultation process around the School of Music upheaval as a “sham”.

Mr Darwin also said the university, which outlined its new implementation plan for the School of Music that includes job cuts and a change in curriculum structure, had failed to justify the cuts.

The NTEU will immediately initiate an industrial response to challenge the announcement.

“It is now apparent that ANU has engaged in a sham consultation process around its proposed cuts to the School of Music, as despite overwhelming staff, student and community opposition, nothing has changed,” Mr Darwin said.

“As was pointed out by so many students, staff and community members in the consultation process, these cuts will comprehensively undermine the high quality learning offered by the School and will rob the ANU and the Canberra community of prestigious musical teaching talent and students.

“It is the outstanding performers and teachers of the School of Music that have brought students here to study. Under this plan they will be made redundant and performance teaching will be outsourced to teachers willing to get by on a few casual hours’ work per semester. School of Music staff have unanimously said they will not work on that basis.

“The university has failed to justify these cuts, and has demonstrated incredible disrespect to School of Music staff and students.

“ANU management has also failed to provide any business plan, and has provided scant detail on the curriculum, which has been created with no proper discipline or university-level scrutiny.”



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  1. The Federal Minister for the Arts, Hon. Simon Crean, MP, has been noticeably absent from the discussion. Why? In the same way that AIS is a national institution, so is the School of Music at ANU. The ANU is its steward, but the federal government has the larger responsibility for ensuring that the institution retains its national prestige and prominence. Isn’t it time to ask the federal parliament what is happening to prevent the looming disaster?

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