This is a blog recording the announcements that are sent out on the CASCA listserv.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Cuts to CHL at ANU

Dear Colleagues

The ANU is threatening to cut 30% or more of the staff of the School
of Culture, History and Language which includes the anthropologists in
what was used toi be the Research School of Pacific Studies, but is
now the ANU College of Asia & the Pacific. Below is a Press release
signed by 70 members of the staff of the School.

If you want to express concern about this here are some email addresses:

Brian Schmidt<> incoming VC; Gareth
Chancellor;<>, Dean
of ANU College of Asia & the Pacific.



*Call to stop cuts to School of Culture, History and Language*

Staff at the ANU School of Culture, History and Language (CHL) have
been told that as many as one third of them may face dismissal next
year. CHL is among the highest performing academic units in the country.

CHL union representative (NTEU), Associate Professor Assa Doron said,
'CHL is one of the world's leading concentrations of academic
expertise on the Asia Pacific region. This region is central to
Australia's future.'

'Understanding and engaging with Asia and the Pacific is precisely
what will give Australia an advantage in the new global economic
climate when the mining boom ends and the Asia-Pacific trade agreement
enters into force,' said Doron.

'The cuts will hit CHL hard, impacting on the largest concentration of
Asian-Pacific language expertise in Australia,' said world-renowned
linguist Professor Nick Evans. 'Australia arguably has the worst level
of foreign language learning of any OECD country,' said Evans. 'Yet
the amazing range of language experts at CHL is one of our best assets
in turning this around, at a time when more than ever Australians need
to expand their mindsets to the sort of deep, empathetic,
culturally-informed engagement that the study of language provides.'

Current staff at CHL include two Fukuoka Prize winners and four ARC
Laureates, the greatest concentration of such academic awards in

A recent external review conducted by an independent panel of
international experts concluded that CHL has 'an outstanding national
and international reputation as one of the world's foremost
concentrations of scholars in humanities and interpretive social
sciences research in the Asia and Pacific regions.' The report further
noted widespread staff demoralisation.

ANU gains considerable reputational value and economic returns from
the stellar pool of academics in CHL. Yet the sole rationale for this
drastic move is the asserted need to urgently balance the School
budget. Professor Andrew Kipnis said, 'staff are baffled, how is it
that in 2013, management said CHL were comfortably in the black, and
added staff. Less than two years later we are being told we are in the
red? Originally, staff were told that changes would take three to five
years to implement. Now we are told that it will be less than a year.
In this situation, long-term planning becomes impossible.'

Cutting one third of CHL academic staff is inconsistent with the ANU
2020 strategic plan, which calls for promoting high-quality research,
increasing Higher Degree Research teaching and supervision, and
nurturing and growing core areas of international distinction.

The world class expertise in Asia and the Pacific assembled in CHL
took decades to develop. It's not too late to stop the decimation of
the School. Staff are dedicated to saving it, not just for their jobs,
but for the mission of the university and the intellectual health of

Once it's gone, this expertise won't come back.


Rachael Bahl

ACT Division Secretary

0403 648 440

02 6125 3114

Casca News

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