The Malta Independent 18 October 2021, Monday

AUM full time lecturers said to have been ‘dismissed by email’

Rachel Attard Thursday, 4 January 2018, 18:09 Last update: about 5 years ago

12 full-time lecturers and other administrative staff at the American University of Malta (AUM) abruptly dismissed by email yesterday with no explanation having been given, The Malta Independent is reliably informed.

The employees were all still to complete their six month probation period.  Sources speaking with this newsroom say the sackings were the result of cash flow problems the university is facing.

Contacted by this newsroom yesterday, AUM Provost John Ryder refused to comment on the sackings and insisted that the university will open its doors in the coming days after the seasonal break and the academic year resumes.

Asked who will be lecturing these students. Ryder said, "there are both full-time and part-time lecturers in place."

But sources have told this newsroom that AUM only retained three staff members - the registrar, the quality assurance manager and the librarian.

Sources also told us that there are, at present, just 15 students at the university compared to 23 last semester. Eight dropped out for, we are told, 'various reasons'.

In all, sources said, 23 staff and academics have left the university, they have either been dismissed or have resigned.

Asked how many students are expected to join this term Ryder was unable to place a number on the amount. He instead ambiguously said that a new student intake will start attending the university in the coming days, and that nothing will have changed between this and the previous semester. 

This newsroom is informed that one of the main reasons why AUM decided to dismiss the academics and other staff was over cash flow. Sources told this newsroom that the salary of an assistant lecturer was of around EUR90,000 a year, while that of a full-time professor was of EUR135,000.

A number of these lecturers have relocated themselves and their families to Malta, and they have now ended up without a job and needing to seek new opportunities abroad.

In the past months a number of academics and other university staff have been dismissed. Two of them; Eduardo Pagini (Project Manager before Raied Ebaid) and Chiara Battistelli (Director Admissions), who were both dismissed last year filed a lawsuit. Pagini lawsuit is on unjustified dismissal in progress and Battistelli's lawsuit is for abusive dismissal in progress

AUM is currently operating from former Dock 1 workshop in Cospicua which part of it has been renovated while the rest of the project has fallen behind schedule. 



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