University of Portsmouth staff 'devastated' after final job cuts decision for English Literature course

JOB cuts at the city’s university will go ahead after bosses decided to press on despite lecturers earning widespread support.

Monday, 3rd August 2020, 12:38 pm
English literature students taking part in a previous outdoor protest. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Staff in the English Literature department at the University of Portsmouth had been rallying against proposed job cuts that would see seven full-time jobs cut from the teaching team at the end of the academic year.

But staff were left ‘devastated’ when a decision was made to go ahead with the cuts.

An academic, who said she was speaking on behalf of the department but asked not to be named, said: ‘We are devastated that they have decided to go ahead with the cuts and we feel that they didn’t listen and weren’t interested in our plans.

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‘The consultation process was for something that they had already decided was going to happen anyway and it feels like our efforts were pointless.’

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The News understands that staff members will now go through a selection process for the remaining jobs.

The lecturer added: ‘It will be horrible after our team have been so united for us now to have to compete against each other for jobs in what has been a really stressful time.

‘We understand that we will get told in August provisionally who will be kept, but no official decision will be made until October 5 which is the first day of term which makes planning for lessons and such particularly difficult.

‘We think those who are going will have to work a three-month notice period which means just before Christmas, our students and the remaining teachers will be left and I think it will be very disruptive.

‘It was never mentioned in the business case that the amount of work for the teachers remaining would increase, and we worry that it will be stressful for them having to look after more students.’

Deputy vice-chancellor Professor Paul Hayes told The News that the job cuts would not affect the number of places offered on the course.

He said: ‘The decision was to uphold the business case.

‘We have too many staff for the number of students for the English Literature courses.’