Ryudai to reduce faculty in order to cut costs

According to reports, the University of the Ryukyus is proceeding to reduce the number of faculty members at each department by 1% a year for 10 years starting from fiscal 2017.

Administrators at the university predict most cuts would come automatically as people retire or move on, but there are concerns that the cut in faculty could lead to a lower quality of education.

The University Executive Committee has already made a decision on the plan. The annual grant to the university from the national government has diminished every year since 2004 when the National University Cooperation Law went into effect, and the administrators have judged that cutting the labor costs is inevitable.

According to the plan, each department has to reduce their faculty members 2% each year first, but half of them (1%) will be re-assigned to strategic departments or organizations on certain conditions. They could be re-assigned to a different department from their current one, and administrators expect up to 20% reduction of personnel over 10 years in some departments.

Departments that are the subject for the cuts are the seven large-scale departments in the university like the Tropical Biosphere Research Center.

Hajime Oshiro, the president of University of the Ryukyus, says, “It’s important to strengthen the management foundation. We would like to invigorate our organization by allocating personnel to more strategic departments, not simply reduce the staff. We will conduct a review in each case on how this would influence education or research at the university.”

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