Staff revolt due to University of Limerick restructuring plans

Clara Kelly

Management at the University of Limerick (UL) is facing an academic revolt after 50 professors signed a letter calling for the suspension of restructuring at the college.

Over 300 University of Limerick staff members gathered at a public meeting last week to discuss the university’s restructural proposal.

The meeting was followed by a letter to the chancellor Mary Harney, signed by 50 professors at UL looking for the reorganisation proposals to be paused by the Governing body.

The letter suggested they pause the plans to “instruct that reorganisation proposals are only tabled after a thorough review of the academic structures demonstrates that a change in the organisation of academic work is necessary.”

The letter stated, they are not against reorganisation, simply concerned due to “rushed reorganisation” which had not been “justified adequately.”

Colin Lynch, Academic Officer for the University of Limerick Students’ Union told The College View, “The academic staff were correct in showing concern as the whole proposal seemed to be a tad rushed.”

He added that, “the staff and students need more of a consultation period” on the matter.

UL-Unite secretary Ger Slattery led the information exchange meeting in which many staff members expressed their concerns surrounding the restructuring.

According to the Limerick Leader, Slattery told staff at the meeting, “plans come and go, but the staff remain.”

“The staff is an enduring feature of the university which have in-depth, highly refined commitment to their service” he added.

UL-Unite currently has over 700 members, accounting for almost 60 per cent of the university’s 1,600 staff.

UL-Unite will meet with the university’s HR department in the coming weeks with the aim of delaying the consultation period of the proposed restructuring.

The proposal is currently scheduled to be brought before UL’s Governing Authority on January 31, 2020.

A fourth year student at the University who wished to remain anonymous, said “everyone’s been against it so far to be honest, it makes no sense.”

The student told how a large concern for the students is transport to the proposed city location, “seeing as transport is bad in Limerick as well it’s a waste of money.”

The student, originally from Dublin said that the college is “already on a very large campus” and that “spreading it further just isn’t ideal.”

The College View reached out to the UL press office for comment, but were told the University would be issuing no comments or statements on the situation.

Clara Kelly

Image Credit: Campus Limerick