– We had good discussions in the board meeting and discussed the restructuring from many angles, professional and administrative, employee and student perspectives. We also expressed concern about whether we might risk taking it too hard and discussed the time perspective on the changeover, says principal Astrid Kvalbein.
On 9 March, the board adopted the main features of the proposed restructuring measures and cutbacks. The board asks the principal and director to implement the measures in collaboration with the departments and disciplines.
The board agrees on cuts
The board concluded that NMH must start with the vast majority of the proposed long-term adjustment measures now and not wait with the hope of higher allocations later. Compared to the current budget, the aim is to reduce the annual costs by around NOK 25 million.
The operating budget has already been cut to a minimum. This means that salary expenses must be reduced sharply if we achieve a cost reduction of NOK 25 million. Preferably, NMH will achieve this somewhat through natural attrition, but this will also mean redundancies.
Fewer teaching weeks
The number of teaching weeks will be reduced from 24 to 22 a year. - This is not something we want, and we do not believe that cutting the number of weeks will result in better teaching. But we have to save, and this is where it matters. Some students also signal that they have an excessively tight timetable, says Astrid Kvalbein.
How to make the best of the situation? We have to work together on this. It's about culture.external board member
The process on the academic side
On the academic side, the savings will take longer than in administration. There will initially be a reduction in resources for teaching and guidance. A measure in this area is to reduce teaching weeks, and other measures will be implemented to reduce costs.
In addition, some savings measures were proposed in the R&D area. Here, the board expressed a general desire to shield R&D as far as possible, even if some cuts must still be made in R&D as well.
The changes in teaching, guidance and R&D will initially have consequences for the work schedules of virtually all academic staff. The next step will be to assess the consequences of these changes for staffing in the various specialist areas.
The heads of departments, together with the study administration, are implementing a reduction in teaching and supervision and resources for academic-administrative tasks in the work plans for the coming academic year. The work plans must be ready and sent out at the end of June. Most of the cuts will then be visible, but it is possible that some of the smaller measures, such as the reduction of weighting in certain subjects, will have to wait until next year.
On 22 March, an e-mail went out to the department leaders with more details about the process.
None of us wants cuts in teaching and guidance resources, but fewer teaching weeks are only a disaster if we are unwilling to renew ourselves.employee representative on the board at NMH
The process on the administrative side
In administration, the cuts will come faster than on the academic side. The aim is to reduce 8 positions by the end of 2023. Work on mapping administrative tasks has started and will continue until Easter. Some administrative tasks must be reduced in priority by NMH, but most of the work must be distributed among those who remain. The administration must also look at workflow and assess whether tasks can be simplified and more efficient.
Reorganization talks will start as soon as possible and will mainly occur in April. The decision and notification to those who must leave the administration will occur in May.
More about the restructuring project
On this site, you will find a progress plan, frequently asked questions and a form for input.Read more