Proposed cuts to the Australian National University School of Art and Design could have a devastating impact on the Canberra arts community, staff and alumni say.
Under the change management proposal released last week, the workshops for furniture and jewellery and object design would close and the glass workshop would be merged with ceramics.
Course offerings in the animation and video major would also be cut back and two part-time convenor roles would be removed.
Seven staff members from the school have already accepted voluntary separations and the plan would cut a further four jobs.
Senior gallery coordinator Megan Hinton said the greatest concern was the disestablishment of the workshops as it was one of Australia's only art schools to follow the European model with a suite of separate disciplines.
"Our graduates, students, alumni are some of the best in the world at what they do. It's deflating to see that it's some of those areas that are on the line," she said.
"The flow-on effect from that in the Canberra arts community and nationally and internationally is quite huge.
"The school offers the broadest range of disciplines of any arts school in Australia."
Ms Hinton said the change management plan proposed the gallery would no longer be a public-facing space which meant two national exhibitions and an internationally touring project planned for next year could be in doubt.
Megalo Print Studio chief executive Ingeborg Hansen said she and most of the past and present Megalo staff had been through the ANU School of Art and Design.
Her father helped to set up the silversmithing workshop which eventually became the jewellery and object workshop that will potentially close.
"It seems really sad to me because the art school has a really well-rounded education in the arts," Ms Hansen said.
Dr Erica Seccombe could lose her part-time role as convenor of postgraduate coursework.
She said it was hard for art and design to be competitive in the research field as it was not seen as being profitable.
"So many art schools are being hit," she said.
"We're in danger of losing art schools altogether."
She said at the end of last year the outlook for the school was bright with plans for a new $80 million building well-advanced.
This all changed when the university's finances took a hit because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The ANU previously announced the equivalent of 194 positions would go as part of its recovery plan.
An ANU spokesperson said the students currently enrolled in degrees at the school would be able to continue their programs and that staff workloads were not expected to increase as a result cutting convenor positions.
"The goal of these changes is to position the school to emerge strongly after the global pandemic and continue our proud history of contributing to Canberra's arts and design community," the spokesperson said.
"ANU is confident we can continue to offer a high-quality studio-based art practice, teaching and learning with a different and more sustainable model."
The spokesperson said the university would try to find redeployment options within the university for staff who would like them. Staff could also seek approval for early separation. The change management consultation period closes on December 3.