Bad news and good news at Charles Sturt U

Charles Sturt U will report a $15m loss on operations for ’22 and the VC warns “financial challenges will persist”

Renée Leon advises staff, ahead of the university’s annual report being tabled in NSW parliament.

“For the first time in some years, the university, like many others in the sector, will post a financial deficit, she warns.

Professor Leon attributes “a large part” of the overall financial deficit to the reduced value of investments, compared to a $122m “fortuitous upswing” in ’22. She also mentions “pressure due to the application of the sector-wide funding model.”

However the VC adds, “we are still working to reverse a decline in overall student load that has increased the pressure on our budget over the past five years.”

“ Returning to surplus will require focussed effort from all of us to grow student load, increase the efficiency of our operations, and attract research and partnership revenue.”

While pay was not mentioned it must be on the agenda for enterprise bargaining now underway.

But finances are not stopping CSU creating 60-70 new FT academic positions

Professor Leon told staff yesterday, “the decision is a result of extensive consultations with staff, sector benchmarking and review of student experience.”

The new positions will be allocated on the basis of casualisation rates and disciplinary/teaching needs of each school.“The budgetary implications of this scheme are significant, but tackling teaching workload and casualisation is a key priority for the success of our students and the wellbeing of our staff.”

As to the impact on enterprise bargaining, the VC adds the university remains committed to an agreement “that provides benefits for staff.” Question now is what that translates into pay rise percentages.