University of Northampton making more than a dozen redundancies

The university says a department restructure has led to 14 redundancies.
The university says a department restructure has led to 14 redundancies.

The University of Northampton is making more than a dozen staff redundant at the same time as taking on a new deputy vice-principal.

The higher education provider has issued a statement to say it has issued 14 redundancy notices as part of a move to streamline its academic structure from four faculties to three.

Vice Chancellor Nick Petford has a pay package of 262,000 plus the university pay for him to a member of an exclusive London club and he has a chauffeur.

Vice Chancellor Nick Petford has a pay package of 262,000 plus the university pay for him to a member of an exclusive London club and he has a chauffeur.

The changes will come into effect from the new academic term in September.

A spokesman for the University of Northampton said: “The university has streamlined its academic structure from four faculties to three ahead of the new academic year to create stronger subject alignments and a better balance in the faculty structure.

“This process identified a small number of job roles where there would be duplication, and the university entered into a period of consultation with post-holders in July.

“The university’s aim is to avoid redundancy, and will look to redeploy post-holders of redundant job roles where possible. Consultation continues in some areas, but 14 positions have been issued notice of redundancy.

“The appointment of the deputy vice-chancellor position is the outcome of a restructure of the university’s senior management team, and many of the roles and responsibilities of that post have been absorbed from the current senior role of executive dean of student experience – which will no longer exist from the New Year.

“It was announced to all staff on July 11 that we have appointed Professor Shân Wareing to the deputy vice-chancellor position, and she will take up the post in December when she leaves London South Bank University, where she was deputy vice-chancellor (education) and chief operating officer.”

The university moved into its new £330m campus last September and has acquired high levels of debt.

The university’s consolidated accounts for 2018 showed a £6.m deficit – with the university’s £126m annual income exceeded by its £133m expenditure.

£98m of its income was derived from tuition fees and education contracts and the staff bill came to £56m.

University Chancellor Nick Petford, who has led the university since 2010, told the Guardian newspaper at the start of this year that if the government implemented rumoured tuition fee decreases then it would have make significant redundancies.

Mr Petford himself had a pay rise in 2018. His pay that year was £262,000 including (pension contributions and performance bonuses) – up from £254,000 the year before. Accounts show that the university also pays for him to be a member of the Athanaeum club in Pall Mall, where he stays when in London on business. He has a university car and a chauffeur when on official business.