Saturday 7 December, 2019

UTT to make jobs cuts? Memo on restructuring proposals sent to staff

The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) will be engaging in a restructuring process.

UTT Chairman Professor Kenneth Julien informed staff of the decision via a memorandum on Wednesday.

“Consistent with these changes, it is also proposed that the Management Structure of the University be reduced by 40 percent, with total expenditure reductions of about 25 percent within the academic body and 50 percent within the corporate body.”

Staff were informed that the decision was taken based on financial challenges facing UTT.

“Staff would no doubt be aware that the university has been operating under severe financial constraints over the past year. These challenges have worsened with the further 11 percent decrease in the UTT’s 2017/2018 recurrent allocation to 200 million dollars.”

The memorandum stated that this development if left unadressed, will see the University experiencing a huge cash shortfall of the order of 190 million dollars at the end of the fiscal year, an inability to meet its payroll liabilities beyond January 2018.

Several restructuring proposals were outlined in the memorandum:

- The University Top Structure will see the number of Vice Principals being reduced from seven positions to three - one responsible for Academic and Student Services, one for Corporate operations and the third for Quality Assurance and Institutional Effectiveness.

- Staff will note a significant change in the Academic and Academic Support functions of the University. Under the new structure, the position of the Provost and Senior Vice President, which served as the Academic Head of the University has been abolished. In the proposed arrangement, a Vice President, Academic and Student Services, will be tasked with oversight for academic systems, including Undergraduate Studies, Research Impact and Post Graduate Studies.

- The proposed VP Corporate Operations will assume leadership and responsibility for the delivery of the following core services, which will now be headed each by an Assistant Vice President: Finance and Procurement, Infrastructure and Maintenance, Human Resources and Administration, Outreach, Marketing, Corporate Communications and Technology Services.

Julien told staff in the memorandum that he has been advised that without immediate effort, UTT will not be able to continue operations beyond January 2018.

He said the university remains committed to engaging in consultations with the relevant parties to arrive at solutions which allow for the achievement of the required organisational balance but noted that time is of the essence.

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