THE OPENING hours of the Arts, Human Sciences & Celtic Studies Programme Office have been reduced dueto a lack of funding. The office will now close at 12.45pm four days per week, instead of operating from 9:30am to 5:30pm. On Wednesdays the office is scheduled to open from 2pm until 4.45pm.
Dean of Arts, Dr Joseph Brady blamed inadequate funding for the reduction in opening hours. He stated that “the duties that [we] have to undertake are many… and they can’t all be done with the resources we have.”
He added that the shortage in opening hours is due to the fact that staff are unable to complete their workload when they are required to attend to the service counter as well. Dr Brady feels that modularisation has been particularly hard on a college as diverse as Arts, illustrating that “as we’ve now got a full cycle of the modular system complete, we now see the full array of all the duties we have to undertake which have grown now that the system has developed. There’s a growing imbalance between what we’ve got by way of staffing and what there is to do.”
Dr Brady acknowledged that the opening hours will not be reviewed until the end of the current semester, stating that the reduced hours “will be enforced for as long as we have our current resourcing. We will have a look at them toward the end of the semester and we will see how the balance of duties is working out relative to the time we’ve got.”
Students’ Union (SU) Education Officer, Paul Lynam described the cutbacks as “a mistake”, arguing that “you have the smallest programme office in the university getting the same as the biggest. Obviously the workload for the biggest is a lot more than the workload for the smallest, so that’s a huge factor there”.
Mr Lynam admitted that his workload has increased with personal cases due to the cutbacks in the programme office yet he claimed that he was capable of handling this increase.
Mr Lynam Stressed that the programme office staff cannot be blamed for the cutbacks as “the first thing we should all bear in mind is we’re in debt, our budgets are being cut and the country is now officially in a recession for the first time since the eighties.”
The Arts Programme Office has been the only office on campus to be forced to reduce its opening hours. Other programme offices across the campus have been unaffected and continue to operate under their normal opening hours.