Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The ghosts in the machine

With only 13 days before university students get back to work you'd think that Unitec could at least have come up with a list of who'll be teaching this year. It was quick enough to strip its arts school's ‘core teaching team’ from 50 to 17.6 late last year but the follow-up is non-existent from the public point of view. Look up staff and it’s ‘Please check back for the latest staff information.’

Even worse is the way the institution is coasting on the reputations of ex-staffers. It's got to be galling for them (whether they saw the approaching steam roller and got out of the way by taking redundancy or attempted and failed to get one of the new jobs) to still be used by Unitec’s PR machine. Take just two of them: ex Associate Dean of Research Marcus Williams and Susan Jowsey who used to be a ‘Senior Academic Staff Member.’ They are still trumpeted on the Unitec website as king hit successes for the institution.

Who knows how students will react. As this student video demonstrates they were certainly unimpressed by losing their big-name art teachers partway through their courses. They may be equally fed up to find that the ghosts of staff past are still being served up as exemplars of the Unitec brand.