On Thursday University of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings will brief staff on the financial impact of COVID-19, the current financial position of UOW, actions taken to date and options being considered for its continuing response.
"Out of respect to UOW staff", the Vice-Chancellor will inform staff directly of the details before providing information to the public and the media.
But one "extremely concerned UOW academic", who wished to remain anonymous, told the Mercury: "On Thursday - around midday - a whole generation of prospective doctors, nurses, teachers and research scientists, our hope best for any kind of a viable post COVID future, will be sold down the river.
"On Thursday.....an environmental scientist will miss the irony that he has laid waste to and decimated the educational landscape at UOW for at least a generation. He will sell himself and 'his team' as the benevolent saviours while at the same time offering a suicide note for higher education in the region."
The academic said Prof Wellings was the architect of, and the "pinup boy" for "performance related funding" and also railroaded through the "culturally insensitive and elitist" Ramsey Centre's western civilisation degree.
He said academics feared the proposed major faculty restructure - which will result in the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts ceasing to exist, with its component schools being absorbed into other areas - was the tip of the iceberg.
The move will cut costs after the financial king-hit delivered by the coronavirus lockdown to universities heavily reliant on international students.
"He has already made it public knowledge that the university faces a $90 million funding gap due to COVID-19. It is claimed that this has been caused by the loss of overseas, private fee-paying students.
"To cut costs I also worry about the future of UOW's regional campuses in Bega and Batemans Bay. Will he cut or combine the two campuses.
"Similarly I fear the Southern Highlands and Loftus campuses will be scrapped."
In reply to Mercury questions, a UOW spokesperson said no decisions have been taken to make any changes to any UOW regional campus at this time.
"UOW has no motivation to reduce the number of Commonwealth Supported Places allocated to it, which is the primary means by which domestic undergraduate and domestic postgraduate students, and their teaching staff, are funded," the spokesperson said.
"As UOW has repeatedly stated publicly, the Vice-Chancellor and senior executive's priority is to safeguard the financial sustainability of the university and maintain the quality of its research and student experience while preserving as much employment as possible.
"COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the whole Australian and global higher education sector. Despite prudent financial management over many years, UOW is not immune from this impact.
"University operations and revenues have been impacted in many ways during this pandemic including: the closure of international borders that prevented international students from coming to Australia, the impact of social distancing on campus operations, the resulting loss of student accommodation contracts and other costs associated with remote course delivery and student support."