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Imperial Proposes 20% Cut in Medic Academics

Aug 08 2009 18:31
Lawrence Weetman
The Faculty of Medicine could cut staff by a fifth in a move to cut costs, including 80 academics in the faculty.
The Faculty of Medicine is facing job cuts amidst a funding crisis.

Imperial College's Faculty of Medicine is the latest to be grazed by the cost-cutting axe, following proposed cuts in staff in the humanities department.

The plans, which threaten the jobs of 80 academic staff and a further 50 non-academic staff, are part of a move to lower the faculty's deficit, which reports say could reach £28.7m by 2013.

Financial problems for the faculty have worsened this year, with the news that The Faculty of Medicine will lose £5million in research funding due to poor results in 2008's Research Assessment Exercise.

The Universities and College Union (UCU) has published a report which shows that one in three London universities is cutting, or looking to cut, jobs.

Speaking to the Times Higher Education supplement, Sally Hunt, the general secretary of UCU, hit out at the cuts. She said that it is difficult to see how the faculty - which takes on 300 undergraduates each year - could function "after cuts and disruption on this scale".

She continued, "Imperial needs to make a clear and public case for any job losses, since it is not in financial difficulties ? as can be seen from its own accounts and ongoing building projects".

It is hoped that taking this painful step now will create a financially sustainable structure within which outstanding staff can be supported and nurtured over the long term.
An Imperial College Spokeswoman

The academic staff are partly funded by various health trusts, including the Imperial College Health Trust, Chelsea and Westminster Foundation Trust, North West London Hospitals Trust and the Royal Brompton and Harefield Foundation Trust - where the academics undertake clinical work.

One report suggests that the staff could be carrying out more clinical work than the trusts are providing financial support for.

It is possible that the employment of the staff in question could be transferred to the health trusts concerned, thus putting more financial pressure onto these trusts.

Speaking to the Health Science Journal (HSJ), a spokeswoman for the Imperial College Health Trust said that "the trust will await the outcome of the consultation before considering any possibility of changes to contracts of staff funded by both organisations".

Also speaking to HSJ, an Imperial College London spokeswoman said, "these proposals regrettably put some academic, administrative and support posts at risk, and the college is making every effort to avoid compulsory redundancies. It is hoped that taking this painful step now will create a financially sustainable structure within which outstanding staff can be supported and nurtured over the long term".

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Discussion about “Imperial Proposes 20% Cut in Medic Academics”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Aug 08 2009 19:42

Well, that was about time, wasn't it? Bl**dy medics!

Aug 08 2009 21:20

They've had it too easy, they should've performed better in the RAE...

Aug 12 2009 23:57

All of the class at gimperial is in the faculty of medicine. Sorry but that sh*t costs money.

Aug 13 2009 10:52

The RAE is the Research Assessment Exercise, which led to a cut in Imperial College's research funding.

Aug 18 2009 19:25

Look deeper into this. These job cuts have nothing to do with financial difficulties or the RAE. To my knowledge this is the 4th restructuring round of job cuts in the Faculty of Medicine in just the last 10 years. This one just happens to be the biggest. Remember the Division of Biomedical Sciences? The process is 'business as usual' for 'Imperial plc' and is work-force engineering plain and simple.

Mar 14 2010 02:50

For all of you out there. At the end no medics lost their post. The only job losses were of scientist especially some of advanced age. Medics survived the cut.

7. This post has been deleted.
Mar 14 2010 19:23
8. Hmm.   
Mar 15 2010 09:42

To say "no medics, only scientists" is missing the point. The article is about academics- i.e. teaching and research staff- in medical fields, rather than the loss of clinical posts involved in patient care- but even if you are commenting purely from the viewpoint of patient care (whereas this article is also concerned about impact on medical and research students and the college's research base), the loss of those people involved in training new doctors and investigating new treatments is still a loss.

Mar 16 2010 00:05

No. The no medics - only scientists is actually spot on. It shows, as it is well known, that medics are not scientists but only half humanities students. Half, as they are even worse - medics, to be concise.

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