THE future of Charles Sturt University's Bathurst campus isn't just secure, it is bright, according to the acting vice-chancellor.
Professor John Germov says the university is committed to its campus network even as it grapples with a deficit and staff cuts.
CSU last week provided an update on its Sustainable Futures program, which aims to reduce the university's deficit to approximately $22 million in the 2020 financial year and put CSU on the path to a balanced budget by the end of the 2021 financial year.
"The future of the Bathurst campus is that it has a great future," Professor Germov told the Advocate.
"I've been on the public record saying we're committed to our entire campus network; we're not walking away from any campuses.
"Bathurst is where the chancellery is, it's the home of the vice-chancellor, and it's also one of our original campuses.
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"We've been working with the local community and particularly the local [state] member Paul Toole about how we can work to get more industry on to campus to co-locate and therefore provide great work experience for our students, but also potential opportunities for applied and engaged research and industry PhDs and so forth.
"So I think there are a number of things in the works that we'll hope to announce in the coming months that will be of specific benefit to Bathurst. It's one of our key commitments to really invest and grow that campus."
State Member for Bathurst Paul Toole sought assurances from CSU back in May that it had no plans to remove marquee courses such as nursing, teaching and journalism from the Bathurst campus.
Professor Germov reiterated to the Advocate that the marquee courses at the Bathurst campus would remain.
"Yes, absolutely," he said. "They are our core workforce courses.
"They are certainly courses that we have earned a rightful reputation for."
The university recently made a submission to the state parliamentary inquiry on the future of tertiary education, calling for a relaxation of the Charles Sturt University Act and by-law.
Professor Germov said the submission should not be seen as an indication of any intention to close campuses.
"Like I said, we are committed to our campus network; we're not going to downgrade any of our campuses or walk away from any of our campuses," he said.
"But we're one of the few universities that actually have specific campus locations mentioned in our Act, where it says we must offer a major campus presence in X, Y and Z.
"Many other universities don't have that. And we feel that, in the future, if trends continue such as to online learning, if population trends change the market in a particular region, we may need to reduce some of our support services to ensure that that campus remains sustainable.
"At present, we'd have to change the Act, and that can take a number of years, so our preference would be that it would be at the discretion of the minister in agreement with the department to be able to modify the nature of our presence perhaps in the future, but we are not seeing that for a long way off."