According to a story by Jen Rosenberg in the Sydney Morning Herald, the University of Sydney will shed 150 academics and up to 190 casual staff as part of an attempt to save $63 million next year. Academic salaries and administrative costs will be slashed by 7.5 per cent of their 2011 levels, by $25 million and $28 million respectively.
On the income side. student fee income has been below budget for both international and domestic students. No surprise on the first, but the second is interesting because demand for SU places is such that the University has no problem in filling places. Apparently, more domestic students are deferring or lightening load, thus reducing fee income.
On the expenditure side, the University has to find money for a maintenance backlog and to meet new IT expenses.
I have written on the maintenance issue before, for all Australian universities appear to face similar problems. You can rob Peter to pay Paul, and that's what they have all done, but you then you have a problem when you have to pay Peter back.
As I have also indicated before, I have real problems with current university budget approaches because they actually build in instability. I am not sure that I have a proper answer to the problem.
Sydney University Academics Speak Out (New Matilda 5 December) provides further insight on this matter.