Minister calls (again) on Charles Sturt U to release finance report

Regional Education Minister Andrew Gee has expressed “concerns” in Parliament about Charles Sturt U’s finances

Speaking in the Federation Chamber, Mr Gee stated “CSU’s chancellor has flagged with me in my office a litany of systemic issues that required investigation.”

Mr Gee has previously called on CSU to, “open up the books and to shine some light on its finances, management and operations,” (CMM August 7).

In September acting VC John Germov said consultants KPMG had reviewed the university’s “financial position” and had “broadly confirmed the key points” in the university’s financial projections.”

Professor Germov added he hoped, “our students, staff and community stakeholders are reassured that our actions are returning the university to financial sustainability,” (CMM September 17).

But in parliament last week Mr Gee renewed his call for the university to release an independent audit of its finances. “As of today, the report remains hidden from the communities CSU serves. It’s a secret report.”

CSU responded Friday, telling CMM, “the matters referred to by the minister have been investigated and closed out.”

As to CSU releasing “the full report” – it isn’t going to happen, “as to do so would break our legal obligations and provide commercial-in-confidence information to competitors.”

CSU does not enjoy the most supportive of relationships with all its local members. Staff from two CSU campuses live in Mr Gee’s seat of Calare.  And Joe McGirr, NSW state member for Wagga Wagga, where the university also has a campus, sailed into CSU in the Legislative Assembly, suggesting, “there is now concern the university has become just another second-tier corporate education provider,” (CMM October 21).

There is staff concern at CSU campuses over course cuts and job losses.