9 June 2016

The University of Queensland is inviting all its hard-working and committed staff to comment on an issues paper that examines the roles and functions of its finance and human resources staff.

In an email to all staff today, Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the paper was part of a program seeking to release more resources for UQ’s academic endeavours by optimising its administrative approach.

Professor Høj launched the program, Enhancing Systems and Services (ESS), in February 2015.

He said that since then, people across the university had provided ideas, comments and feedback to the ESS team, resulting in some promising initiatives.

“But UQ’s operating costs are high and are growing, even as revenue is being squeezed. Benchmark data show that the gap between us and many comparable universities is widening.

“This unsustainable situation diminishes our ability to invest more robustly in academic endeavours.” 

Professor Høj said he was concerned that the number of teaching and research staff had been in decline in recent times, even though student numbers have grown.

“We now have an opportunity and indeed an imperative to address the imbalances. I believe that by considering realistic approaches to the challenges now, we will significantly improve our capacity to provide a better student experience and strengthen the prospects of new graduates, while maintaining research quality and impact of the highest order.”

An examination of possible improvements and new models for finance and human resources services began in October last year, with those areas selected as they influence decision-making and operations throughout UQ.

The issues paper, compiled with input from staff representatives, is available for university-wide comment and feedback – including through open staff forums – ahead of the development of formal proposals. It is open for comment until July 4.

The paper says the proposals outlined will affect some staff and certain roles and it is not possible at this stage to anticipate, with any certainty, the exact impact. 

Professor Høj assured staff that if these proposals were implemented, affected staff would be supported throughout any change process. The process followed would be consistent with relevant provisions of the Enterprise Agreement.

Media: communications@uq.edu.au, +61 (7) 3365 1120.