University of Wollongong staff are largely being "kept in the dark" about how this year's major faculty restructure will affect them, according to the staff union.
Under the restructure 11 faculties are being turned into the five super faculties of business; engineering and information sciences; law, humanities and the arts; science, medicine and health; and social sciences.
The executive deans of these super faculties have been appointed, and executive faculty managers announced, but there's plenty of other roles yet to be decided upon.
The lack of communication from university management is making staff decidedly uneasy, according to National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) Wollongong branch vice-president Ron Perrin.
"In many respects the restructure is a bit of a mystery - not all of the information is reaching all of the staff in the various faculties," he said yesterday.
"It would be silly to say this is not a gargantuan exercise and we don't expect someone calling out the changes in the quadrant each morning, but staff are not being told enough about the process that's going on.
"We're in the transitional phase where committees are being set up and structures are being put in place and senior staff are being taken care of, but the rest of us are pretty much being kept in the dark."
NTEU Wollongong branch president Penney McFarlane said some older members of staff had left due to the changes, while other staff were not happy with the change in their roles.
She's been inundated with staff seeking support, and expects this to worsen with the ongoing "push and shove" of roles.
"With any change people get disenfranchised and a lot of older staff members have actually left because they don't approve," she said.
"Meanwhile a lot of contract staff, especially at the UOW College, have not had their contracts renewed, while other staff are facing changes in roles and are wary about that.
"Staff are coming to the union because they're concerned about the way they're being treated, and just very unsettled by the changes."
Ms McFarlane said the union would be "carefully monitoring" staff movements throughout the year.
However, UOW Vice-Principal (administration) Chris Grange said management was doing its best to keep staff informed.
A couple of staff forums had been held late last year and another was planned for mid April; faculties were given regular communication updates and there were a variety of resources and support services available for staff.
"We appointed the executive deans late last year and the executive managers of the faculties were announced last month," he said.
"We're in the process of appointing associate deans within each of the faculties and the next part of the restructure will be to review the faculties' internal organisational structures."
Mr Grange stressed that the restructure was not a "cost-cutting exercise" and confirmed that no staff members would lose their jobs.
"We are at the detailed implementation point of the restructure at which members of staff get nervous thinking 'how will this affect me' and 'how will my job change'," he said.
"That's just a natural process of change but this is not a restructure aimed at saving money so we are not needing to cut jobs."