Law students and staff of Queensland's Griffith University have been reassured that proposed changes to its arts, education and law group, will not result in a downgrade of its law school.
In response to concern from students and staff of the impact the proposed changes may have, pro vice chancellor of the university's arts, education and law group, Paul Mazerolle, said that while the university is planning an internal management restructure of the group, there will be no staff cuts, no budget cuts or downgrading of the law school.
"There has been a lot of concern that law at Griffiths has been devalued or diminished and that's actually not true," Mazerolle explained.
"The integrated law school is not being merged into a new faculty - it already exists within the arts, education, law administrative grouping," he said. "It will still have the same amount of autonomy as it has now."
The changes mean that the faculty of law will no longer exist but the law school will remain - as a standalone school. Mazerolle said the proposal involves maintaining the functions of the faculty of law but integrating those functions into the law school.
And while the law school will continue to operate as it currently does, there will be the addition of "portfolio deans" - a research dean, academic dean and a teaching and learning dean.
Commenting on talk that the changes will constitute a downgrade to the law school and that there will be a mass exodus of staff and students in protest, Mazerolle noted that they may have one resignation as a result of the changes but he said "these things happen".
"What people need to know, if somebody resigns, because of a restructure or because of other reasons, we'll replace them as we're very committed to having a strong law school," he said.
Mazerolle said a lot of students are "upset" with the proposals however he believes this is because they've been given a lot of misinformation.
"Everything is the same. The only difference is now there will be an additional layer of resources," Mazerolle said.
"Twenty universities in Australia already have this structure."
- Briana Everett
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