Management of Change Process
School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences
Division of Sciences
Final decisions and response to staff and union submissions
On 25 May 2017 I commenced formal consultation around proposed changes to the School of Physical
Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences. The changes proposed were in response to the current financial
chal enges that the School faces and the need to reduce the deficit. Sustainable resourcing is key to ensuring a
viable School that can continue to contribute to the University’s aspirations and deliver a future-focussed
curriculum grounded in research excellence (refer to 1.2 ‘Future resourcing’, Staff Consultation Document, 25
Consultation included one-on-one meetings, and meeting with the School. Some individuals also took up the
opportunity to meet with me, or Jane Stumbles (Divisional HR Manager) during the consultation period to seek
further clarity about the proposal and provide their initial feedback before making a submission.
Consultation closed at midday on 16 June 2017. In total, 19 written submissions were received. These were a
mix of group and individual submissions, including one from the School as a whole, and one from the TEU on
behalf of its members. Process of reviewing submissions
On 21 June, an advisory panel of me (Chair), Associate Professor Janice Murray (Associate Dean, Academic),
Jan Flood (Registrar), Associate Professor Sarah Young (Dunedin School of Medicine), and Associate Professor
Jim Cotter (School representative, PESES), met to carefully consider all information provided through written
Human Resources (HR) support was provided by the Divisional HR Manager, Jane Stumbles. Themes of submissions and the panel’s response
Firstly, I wish to state that I am grateful to those who accepted the invitation to engage in the consultation
process. I was appreciative of the verbal feedback provided during the consultation period, and the panel and I
were impressed with the submissions received. A number of alternative views and suggestions were
proposed, which were careful y considered by the panel.
There seemed to be an acceptance that change was necessary, and an understanding of the need to focus on
developing a future-focussed curriculum delivered from a sustainable financial platform. There were differing
views about how the change was being implemented, and what the future academic focus of the School
A full summary of all themes contained in the submissions, and the response to those themes, is detailed
Feedback about the proposed academic selection process and criteria (both in submissions, and verbal
: The final selection criteria have been modified to incorporate feedback received. In particular
the selection criteria will be based directly on the academic promotion criteria. An explicit reference to
collegiality will be removed and the supporting personal statement may be up to three pages long. The
indicative curriculum will not have a role in staff selection.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor considered the School’s suggestions and decided that an internal senior academic
outside the Division of Sciences and the School would be equal y appropriate and would al ow the process to
continue without delay. Professor Helen Nicolson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) is a senior
academic who is independent of and external to the School. Professor Nicholson has a comprehensive
understanding of academic promotion criteria, and is familiar with the academic offerings of the School of
Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences. The University is confident that this is an appropriate choice,
and Professor Nicholson has agreed to participate in this process. Several submissions referred to the financial model and subventions:
Questions were raised about the
subvention, and other financial activities. To clarify, the need to reduce staffing is because of the financial
situation – the School is over $2.5m in deficit. Some level of ongoing subvention wil be provided as the School
turns around its financial performance. Future subvention levels will be determined strategically by the PVC in
consultation with Heads of Department and Advisors. Questions were raised about EFTS and reimbursements:
The School does not receive EFTS credit for subjects
taken outside the School by its own major-subject students. This can be balanced by EFTS credit from students
taking majors outside the School who enrol in papers taught by School staff.
The School is currently reimbursed the salary cost of the staff member on secondment to the Divisional Office. Clinics:
There was some concern that these may be discontinued. The PVC and the University supports
retention of the clinics provided they have a strong research and academic focus. There needs to be clear
articulation of the strategic benefit, value and purpose; e.g. teaching and academic purpose, value to the
community etc. Concern about the impact of reducing the level of Laboratory Technician resourcing:
Several submissions urged
this decision to be delayed until the future curriculum is clear. There were also views that the Senior
Laboratory Technician/Health and Safety role should be included in scope. It has been agreed to defer any
decisions about changes to Laboratory Technician resourcing until such time as the future curriculum is
confirmed. At that time, technical staffing requirements will be assessed in order to determine what changes
may be required. The panel noted that there is currently no workload model for the Technical Team, and
encourages the current Dean, together with the Technical Team Leader, to develop a workload model for
technical staff based on the existing curriculum. The workload model can be reviewed when the new
curriculum is developed. Enthusiasm about the future
: It was encouraging to see the enthusiasm for the future of School of Physical
Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences, and acknowledgement for the need for change. The need for a comprehensive strategic plan:
The panel agrees with this suggestion. While the PVC is happy to
help establish a strategic committee for the School, ultimately this activity needs to be driven by senior
academics in the School. Comments about the remaining Professional Practice Fel ow (PPF) position that was excluded in the proposal
This position was out of scope because resourcing is required to continue to teach the current curriculum
through 2018. Once the new curriculum is developed, consideration wil be given to whether the support
requirements are appropriate. If it is considered necessary to make changes to ensure optimal resourcing,
staff would be consulted about this. That the curriculum should have been developed and finalised before decisions on staffing were made:
immediate priority is to address the financial problems. It is reasonable to downsize the school before
developing a future curriculum. The PVC and panel noted that the highest performing Departments (in both
research and teaching) follow a policy of recruiting the academically strongest staff they can. Furthermore the
academic capabilities among the School’s academics will be broad enough to allow the School to develop a
strong curriculum with wide appeal. Logistics Coordinator’s position description:
Submissions seemed to reflect the PVC’s proposal that the Job
Description for this position needs to wait until the curriculum content is developed and finalised. We will
work with the incumbent through this process, later in 2018. The indicative curriculum put forward in consultation:
A number of comments were made about the indicative
curriculum documents, including a view that Physical Activity and Health was ignored. The panel recognised
that Physical Activity and Health is strategically valuable. The curriculum presented in the proposal was used
to test whether the proposed level of resourcing would be sufficient to deliver a sustainable academic
programme, and was simply indicative. The important point to bear in mind is that the final curriculum (to be
developed by staff) must follow the principles outlined in Section 1.3 of the proposal.
The PVC is open to the suggestion of two first-year PESES papers. However, these papers must be taught
within the constraint of the final number of academic staff. Also, it is important (i) not to create barriers to
entry to 200-level (or higher) study in the School and (i ) to ensure a pathway exists for students exiting First
Year Health Science to undertake a course of study in the School. Comments about general administration staff including why these positions were excluded from the
Management of Change proposal:
The PVC gave careful consideration to this at the time of developing the
proposal, and in light of the Support Services Review (SSR), no changes were proposed. The panel carefully
considered this and agreed with the PVC’s decision. However, this does not preclude proposing further
changes in the future, if this is deemed necessary. The panel notes that the Dean needs to actively manage
existing staff to ensure the School operates effectively. It is his responsibility to take an active role in
overseeing administrative activities over the coming months, and the Division’s Business Manager will support
this. If it is determined that additional general staff resourcing is needed while the SSR progresses, the PVC
will consider how best to organise and resource this. The PVC recognises that when the current Administration
Manager/EA retires, the Dean will need some support. To mitigate risk, the Divisional Business Manager has
been asked to work with the Dean to provide administrative oversight. Dance:
A number of submissions referred to the proposed disestablishment of the Dance specialisation. Some
agreed with this proposal, some did not. Some submissions made suggestions to retain the Senior Lecturer
associated with Dance elsewhere in the University. The PVC and his panel all acknowledge the unique
capabilities of the Dance Senior Lecturer, and her alignment with the University’s Māori Strategic Framework
and the Pacific Strategic Framework. Any solution to retain the Senior Lecturer would be facilitated through a
redeployment arrangement outside the School. ATP Administrator:
There was a submission about the workload and physical location of this position. The
panel was not convinced that relocating the ATP Administrator would be detrimental to the School as a whole.
Ultimately the physical location of general staff is for the Dean to decide. No increase in ATP administrative
support is being proposed or envisaged at this time. Alternative EFTS data and graphs including il ustrating EFTS and primary major:
All data have been carefully
considered. The panel concluded that regardless of how EFTS data are presented, the fact remains that all
programmes have relatively low numbers of students. This reinforces the current lack of financial viability and
the need for immediate change. The School and the Division now need to focus on developing a future-
focussed curriculum that conforms to the strategic imperative of research-led excel ence, and the panel did
not accept that the different interpretations justify considering alternative proposals.
Camps and Outdoor Education:
The PVC reiterates that camps and other activities can still continue as practical
components but must conform to the principle that they have an academic focus and build on a theoretical
foundation. The loss of the Mechanical Workshop Technician:
The panel recognised that the disestablishment of this
position would result in a loss of internal specialty support. The School has an operational budget, and it was
noted that capability does exist across the Division and the University. The School may be able to utilise
existing capability, reallocate activities elsewhere in the School, the Division, or the University (e.g. Property
Services), and/or outsource any specialist work that is deemed necessary. The proposed Technical Team Leader/Electronics Technician Job Description
: Additional feedback provided has
been accepted. It is important to note that the Job Evaluation process is undertaken central y; the panel
cannot advocate for individuals or influence the eventual final grade.
Suggestion that the School undertakes ESSA accreditation:
The panel agreed that this suggestion appears to
have strategic merit, and encourages the School to explore and pursue this if it chooses. It is noted that
accreditation can be expensive, so again, this proposal would need to be carefully considered on its merit, and
a strategic decision made. Marketing support:
The panel noted that the School will require Divisional support for marketing a new
programme, and agree that this is strategically important. The PVC reiterates that the Division is committed to
supporting the School in its marketing initiatives, including committing financial support for marketing. Part-time Teaching Fel ow:
Accepts being transferred into the Division of Humanities. Senior Teaching Fel ow/Course Advisor position
: Some comments were presented regarding this position
including a suggestion that this become a Professional Practice Fel ow and be excluded from the academic
selection process. While the panel recognised the valuable service that is provided, it did not agree with this
proposal. Retention of specialist student advice expertise will not be justified under the new curriculum and
additionally, the School wil not have the resources to support it.
The information provided during the consultation phase has convinced me that it would be premature to make
decisions about Laboratory Technician resourcing without first having clarity about the future curriculum.
Therefore my amended recommendation is to make no changes to Laboratory Technician positions at this
time. The Vice-Chancellor agreed to this on the understanding that when the curriculum is developed, we will
then review all support roles including the remaining technical positions and the remaining Professional
Practice Fellow. This review wil be to determine whether the School has the appropriate structure in place to
effectively support the programme and the research activities of the School. If the review suggests a need for
change, then any proposed changes wil be subject to further formal consultation.
• The fulltime Senior Teaching Fellow and the fulltime Senior Lecturer positions associated with the
Dance specialisation will both be disestablished from the School of Physical Education, Sport and
Exercise Sciences. The University is committed to exploring redeployment for staff at risk of
redundancy and as part of this process, we are continuing to consider whether the Senior Lecturer
position could be retained elsewhere in the University.
• The 0.5 FTE Teaching Fellow position associated with the Dance specialisation will transfer to the
Department of Music, Theatre and Performing Arts on 1 February 2018, or an alternative date as
agreed with the Head of Department.
• The Caroline Plummer Fellow in Community Dance will be transferred to the Department of Music,
Theatre and Performing Arts. The Plummer family have been advised of this decision.
Changes to other (in-scope) academic positions
The Vice-Chancel or approved the recommendation to reduce in-scope academic positions by four positions
(~4.0 FTE). I am in the process of establishing a selection panel to facilitate this process; the finalised selection
criteria and process are attached to this document.
During this period, one request for voluntary severance has been submitted, and accepted by the University.
As a result of this, the selection process will be to reduce by three academic positions (~3.0 FTE).
General staff positions
• The Logistics Coordinator and Outdoor Education Technician will reduce from 1.0 FTE to 0.5 FTE.
• The incumbent Technical Team Leader/Electronics Technician has been confirmed into this permanent
position, and the vacant position of Electronics Technician has been disestablished.
• The fulltime Mechanical Workshop Technician position will be disestablished.
• The (vacant) position of Application Software Developer has been disestablished.
We are now working on an individual basis with those staff who are impacted by the changes announced
today. I will be asking Professor Booth, as Dean, and Nigel Barrett, as Team Leader of the Technical Team, to
work through the operational implications of these decisions. My staff are available to assist in this process.
I now need to work with the Dean and appropriate staff to determine the support and teaching resources
required to teach out the Dance specialisation (2018, and beyond). I will be consulting those staff currently
teaching in the Dance specialisation.
Selection process for academic (in-scope) staff
The selection process will commence immediately. Staff are invited to compile their documentation for the
panel. In-scope academic staff will be invited to a 15-minute interview with the selection panel. If individuals
are unable to make their allocated time then they should advise Kim Dobier ([email address],
extension 7978) so that we can consider what alternative arrangements are required. Staff should also advise
Kim if they do not wish to meet the panel. Key dates are as follows:
• Written portfolios submitted by 9.00 a.m. on Friday 21 July 2017 to [email address].
• Interviews will occur during the week of Monday 24 July 2017 (TBC).
I have asked Associate Professor Janice Murray (Associate Dean, Academic) to assist the School with
developing the new curriculum. Further communication about this process will be forthcoming from my
Office, in due course. Conclusion
In closing, I have appreciated the way that staff have engaged with me through this process to date. I also
thank you for your professional and respectful approach towards your col eagues who have been impacted
through this process. I am very mindful that this process wil continue to be chal enging, as we work through
next steps including the academic selection process. If you have any questions in relation to this document, or
would like to discuss any aspect of your submission that you do not feel is addressed above, please do not
hesitate to contact me.
Professor Richard Barker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences)
12 July 2017