29 Jun 2018

University of Auckland’s Peter Watts confirms redundancy

From Upbeat, 12:36 pm on 29 June 2018

Confirmation of redundancies at the University of Auckland’s School of Music continues.

Peter Watts, who teaches music theory and musicology, has confirmed his position has been disestablished and he will be out of a job in six months’ time.

Peter Watts

Peter Watts Photo: Facebook - Peter Watts

“I’m sad not so much for myself, but for the institution,” he says. “I’m sad for what it means for students.”

Watts has taught musicology and music theory at the School of Music for 10 years. His contract will end in January.

“These past 10 years I have absolutely loved,” he says. “I’ve loved working with colleagues and students.”

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Photo: Fuad Tabba, Auckland University, Wikimedia Commons

Part of his role is to get students up to standard with music theory. He says this is becoming increasingly important as the level of theory knowledge and understanding is “getting lower every year” with incoming students.

“If [performance] is not backed up with solid theory and history work, then [students] have no real understanding of what they are doing,” he says.

Among other staff affected by redundancy are Professor Uwe Grodd and Senior Lecturer in cello Edith Salzmann.

READ: TEU accuses University of Auckland of “silencing” music staff

Yesterday the Tertiary Education Union said the university has been “silencing” staff.

Peter says there has been “mistreatment” and the restructure is “surprising … mystifying and absurd.”

RNZ Concert is still awaiting a reply from the University of Auckland.