Statement: The co-operation negotiations at Tampere University worries the professoriate
The announcement given by Tampere University on September 13, 2021 concerning the co-operation negotiations on centralised support services worries the university's professoriate. A reduction of nearly 20% in support services will undoubtedly have a detrimental effect on the quality of research and teaching and on everyday life of the university. Tampere University has justified the starting of co-operation negotiations with financial and operational reasons. However, the university's board has previously approved the clearing of operational deficit.
The professoriate is also stunned by the manner in which the issue has been delivered to both the university community and the public.
“For instance, post-merger support staff resources have been diverted to many non-core development projects, which has been a conscious choice by management, not an automatic consequence of the merger,” says the professors’ shop-steward, Professor Mari Hatavara.
“A lot of working time has also been wasted on repeated organisational changes and poorly planned system reforms.”
The university services that are now proposed to be cut are an integral part of the university’s operations. Without proper support services, the university's research and teaching activity will be compromised, and the workload of teachers and researchers will increase. The increase of admission quotas and the pressure of obtaining external funding, combined with cuts in support services, create an unsustainable equation in which staff well-being will be undermined. The Board of the Tampere University Chapter of the Finnish Union of University Professors strongly holds the position that the staff directly involved in teaching and research must stay.
“The manner in which the co-operation process has now been launched most certainly does not respect the values of Tampere University that are responsibility, openness, critical thinking, diversity, learner-centredness, courage and erudition - bildung. We wish to show our full support to the staff of the centralised support services in this difficult situation and call on the university management to act in accordance with our values,” says Professor Johanna Kujala, Chair of the Board of the Tampere University Chapter of the Finnish Union of University Professors.
Mari Hatavara, Professors’ shop-steward, firstname.lastname@example.org
Johanna Kujala, Chair of the Board of the Tampere University Chapter of the Finnish Union of University Professors, email@example.com