CQUniversity has announced major changes amid the coronavirus pandemic.
CQUniversity has announced major changes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Uni to withhold wages, cut salaries to survive COVID-19

CQUniversity senior executives will receive no salary increases in 2020-21, have 20 per cent of their salaries withheld and the university may be forced to close a campus to help the university bounce back after the coronavirus pandemic.

CQUniversity's Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nick Klomp announced coronavirus led to a $100 million short fall on the budgeted figures for 2020.

Details of the plan were sent to CQUniversity students this afternoon.

Mr Klomp, who is based in Rockhampton, revealed the university will implement a number of measure to save money, including voluntary redundancies and the possible closure of the Sunshine Coast campus and two delivery centres in Biloela and Yeppoon.

"Without a doubt this crisis has brought with it unprecedented challenges that no one expected," he said.

"Individuals and organisations have had to adapt quickly to a new normal and CQUniversity is no different.


"From the outset we made important and difficult decisions about transitioning learning and teaching from on campus to entirely online.

"While this presented some initial challenges for staff and students, our past investments in online delivery and digital infrastructure served us well, and we were able to minimise disruption to learning and teaching.

"Despite our ability to adapt and support our students, the pandemic has led to projected financial shortfalls for the university of more than $100 million on our budgeted figures for 2020.

"These projected figures are quite simply not sustainable for the university and it is likely that, as this pandemic continues to play out, we will have further significant revenue losses in 2021.

"Most of these projected losses are as a result of a downturn in current and future international student numbers, and given the travel restrictions, it is unlikely that we will be able to on-board any new international students for terms 2 and 3 this year, and possibly throughout 2021.

"In order to remain viable and ensure our ongoing success and sustainability long into the future, it is now critical that we make some difficult decisions and swiftly implement new operational measures."

Prof Klomp said CQUniversity currently operates using a business model that was designed for a pre-COVID-19 world, but that this model cannot be expected to function effectively in the post-COVID-19 tertiary landscape.

"Not only do we need to address the immediate financial impacts of COVID-19, but we must emerge from this crisis as a different university - one that can thrive in the 'new normal'. Some universities will not be able to do this, but CQUniversity can - and must."


Changes at a glance

- University executives reduced from seven to four, with the other three redeployed with pay cuts

- The executive leadership team will also reduce their salary packages by 20 per cent and staff members within senior management positions will forgo their allocated pay increases for the 2020-21 financial year.

- Proposed closures of physical delivery sites in Biloela and Yeppoon and the Sunshine Coast campus located in Noosaville.

-Voluntary separation packages to staff interested in taking a redundancy or entering early retirement or pre-retirement.

Originally published as Uni to withhold wages, cut salaries to survive COVID-19

Professor Nick Klomp.
Professor Nick Klomp.