Senior officials have confirmed the news first revealed by The Eye that jobs are to go at Wales’ only university in the elite ‘Russell Group’, in order to save millions of pounds.
Internal documents passed to us show that staff are to be offered “a new Voluntary Severance Scheme to cover the whole University” which will be open for applications from January 3 to May 31.
The university says it wants to “move from a deficit position of £21m last academic year to a surplus position of £24m in two years’ time”.
The email to staff from controversial Vice-Chancellor (VC) Colin Riordan continues: “This is a challenging target, but one that is eminently achievable so long as we take a strategic approach… last year our income only rose by 2.5% whilst our expenditure rose by 5.2%”.
Professor Riordan also outlines the dangers facing Cardiff University with Brexit chief among them.
He warns: “The prospect of leaving the EU in a disorderly fashion at 11pm on 29 March is undoubtedly the least palatable from a University point of view. The potential disruption to staff and students, to our research, teaching, travel and recruitment would add significantly to the many difficult issues we are already dealing with”.
The Eye disclosed yesterday that more jobs were to be axed as part of a voluntary redundancy programme at the university.
We have also revealed earlier severance schemes at the university, which were covered later by the mainstream media in Wales.
In September last year The Eye were the first to disclose that internal documents showed how the contentious institution had decided to offer “academic staff a time-limited opportunity to apply for severance under a Voluntary Severance (VS) Scheme”.
At the time the union for academic staff, University and College Union (UCU), told their members at Cardiff University: “… we remain highly critical of the culture of management and managerialism at Cardiff University”.
The news was then followed up by the mainstream media
Commentators are watching these events carefully to see whether the same occurs this time.
The latest shock news, and Professor Riordan’s comments, have confirmed reports that the sector is under enormous pressure because of Brexit, with or without a deal.
Brexit has been a continual problem for all universities in the UK.
Cardiff University had its credit rating slashed following the Brexit vote, with Moody’s changing the outlook from stable to negative.
Cardiff was one of eight top British universities who had their credit status downgraded amid concerns that curbs to free movement would hit recruitment of academics and students.
Among the others were Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Keele and De Montfort.
But Cardiff University has been no stranger to embarrassments.
More than three years ago it was at the centre of a storm of controversy over the sudden withdrawal of the appointment of Griff Rhys Jones as Chancellor.
The comedian had already posed for pictures in his ceremonial robes.
The university was forced to dismiss claims it was shuffling its long-standing governance structure in the wake of the botched attempt to appoint Mr Jones.
The Nobel Prize winner Sir Martin Evans agreed to a second term as Chancellor following Mr Jones’ decision to rule himself out of becoming the university’s new figurehead to avoid “any further complication”.
But it seems further job losses at Cardiff University cannot be ruled out – and the first you will hear of them is on The Eye …
Also on The Eye – a controversial author opens up exclusively to us about the hit and run crash which devastated his life and the questions about whether he was targeted because of his anti-Welsh language writings.