Massive job losses at Canterbury University
Canterbury University will cut staff numbers by 50 each year for the next three years, as the financial impact of the quakes becomes clear.
The university has today released its 10-year financial forecast, showing its debt will reach $118 million by 2021, up from its existing $50m debt.
It will post a $38m loss this year and continue to face deficits for the next four years before reaching a predicted surplus in 2017, but it will take until 2021 before the university recovers to achieve its pre-quake 3 per cent surplus.
The university also has to find an estimated $150m to repair and improve its earthquake-damaged buildings over and above insurance proceeds.
The university has asked the Government to help pay those capital costs.
The earthquakes have put the university under pressure because fulltime-equivalent domestic student numbers have fallen by about 1800, and international students by 400, insurance costs have jumped and staff costs continue to rise.
To return to a surplus the university needed to reduce its costs, and a number of initiatives were under way to do this, vice-chancellor Rod Carr said.
''It's a case of the university becoming leaner.''
Each of the university's six colleges have been asked to find savings.
Carr said job losses would be achieved by not filling some vacant positions, using less casual and fixed term staff and retirements.
He said the university was Christchurch's third largest employer with more than 2000 staff, so 50 each year was not a big figure.
Carr was confident the university would come through this difficult period with its reputation as a world-class institution intact.
''This is still going to be an institution with 12,500 students. It's still going to be a big institution that is going to offer over 1000 courses and employ thousands of people.''
- © Fairfax NZ News
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