An open letter to the board of governors of CSU (RE: CSU name change)
AS A previous member of the board, I am aware of the pressure that can be brought on members to agree to suggestions put forward by the university executive, especially when the proposal has already been planned and budgeted for.
It would have been expected that such an important change would have been properly researched, but there is no evidence of this in the information released to the stakeholders in the university; the students past and present, the academic staff who have a reputation for good teaching and the people of Bathurst who have supported the university in its development.
The “consultation” that is taking place is after the event has been decided, apparently because the executive realised that there would be little support from the community as a whole for such an ill-conceived idea.
Modest research would have shown that the leading universities in the world have not sought to “refresh” themselves by changing their name.
Indeed, the fact that they celebrate the original name by adding lustre to it over the years by teaching and research demonstrates what should be done and Sydney University is an example.
I believe that to change the name would imply that there was something wrong with what CSU has done in the past and that it is necessary to disassociate the university with that past.
For an organisation to prosper and grow, it needs to identify its main strengths and build on them. Strong teaching, a good experience for the students and employability on graduation are attributes that enable CSU to stand with the Universities of Sydney and New South Wales; different but equal.
If there is a need to “refresh” it is for the administrators who thought of this costly and damaging idea.
Clearly they need to “refresh” their research skills and use their time to actually progress the university.
The estimated $5 million that the scheme would cost could be better employed in funding scholarships to encourage rural and indigenous students to study at Charles Sturt University, a real step in promoting reconciliation.