I AM concerned that a change of name for Charles Sturt University is even being considered.
Finding an acceptable name for the new university in 1989, comprising as it did existing campuses in Albury, Wagga Wagga, Bathurst and Orange, was a real challenge.
These cities had a long history of competitive development and, in the main, were reluctant draftees into the new federated university.
A unifying force was the name of the distinguished Australian explorer Charles Sturt who had navigated each of the three rivers – Murray, Murrumbidgee and Macquarie - on which the new university was to be located. The name soon found universal acceptance.
There are many “Sturts” in Australia and locally but there is only one “Charles Sturt” – the distinguished explorer of inland Australia – and hence the name uniquely places the university in the region it seeks to serve.
Universities are enduring institutions and their identity should not be changed on the whim of some “Johnny-come-lately”.
It takes decades for a university to build momentum and a reputation through the achievements of its graduates, its contributions to the local communities and to build the elaborate infrastructure that modern universities require.
If a “fresh” image is what is required after 30 years that is best provided by innovative teaching, relevant research output and staff who can be effective thought leaders in the community. Not a name change!