Scholar-led petition fights lecturer’s sacking at Sydney’s Macquarie University

In just about a week, mathematics learners at Sydney’s Macquarie College have already gained the help of perfectly over 400 students and colleagues for a petition demanding the reversal of an declared retrenchment of a really-regarded mathematics lecturer.

Dr Frank Valckenborgh was told he was designed redundant on June 18 as a consequence of a “hunger games”-design and style procedure. Academic personnel users throughout the complete college were being compelled to contend for their individual careers, via a “spill and fill” course of action, as the management sought to forcibly retrench far more than 80 whole-time lecturers.

The campaign initiated by the Macquarie College Arithmetic Culture is an vital stand taken by learners, in the confront of the refusal of the pupil and staff members unions to combat the ongoing government-administration offensive against college employees and college students, which has seen up to 90,000 jobs eliminated throughout Australia’s community universities since the COVID-19 pandemic strike.

Screenshot of the petition to reinstate Valckenborgh (

As element of the deepening cuts at Macquarie College, the Faculty of Science and Engineering instructed workers that cost savings of practically $6 million experienced to be made across the faculty’s departments, which contain Physics and Astronomy, Mathematics and Statistics (M&S), Earth and Environmental Sciences, Biology and Chemistry.

Different staff users were told they experienced to reapply for their own positions and that amongst 26 and 34 teachers would drop their careers as a result of a position system. A additional round of “voluntary redundancies” was opened also. The administration calculated that personnel, confronted with competing with their pals and colleagues for work opportunities, would slide on their personal swords.

The occupation losses adhere to much more than 350 “voluntary redundancies” inflicted on teachers and professional team customers at Macquarie University in 2020. M&S, for instance, was to shed four extra positions in the current fill-and-spill technique, on top rated of 5 entire-time positions currently being slashed in 2020. College employees, currently struggling with massive workloads, would encounter even much more difficult disorders, with the academic practical experience of college students diminishing additional.

On the announcement of the pressured retrenchment of Valckenborgh, the Macquarie University Arithmetic Culture (MQMS), led by its president Nora Darwish, introduced a petition to Vice Chancellor S. Bruce Dowton and the university’s government administration “unreservedly” contacting for the overturning of his dismissal, noting that “so many of us have attained our degrees because of Frank’s determination to training and educating.”

The petition states: “He is a powerhouse of information and imparts this to his pupils, his treatment for his learners is indisputable and his instructing empowers students to arrive at their entire potential.”

Lots of learners have made heartfelt responses on the petition about Valckenborgh’s unstinting contributions of time, effort and skills in their education and learning. Colleagues commented also on his generosity and scholarship.

“Macquarie has lower significantly far too numerous team, enough is more than enough,” was one particular comment. One more reported: “Frank is 1 of the most passionate lecturers out there and also an particularly well-informed, client teacher. Seldom any person will sit down with you for 2 hrs to make sure you fully grasp a little something!”