Charles Sturt announces plans for economic and academic sustainability

4 MAY 2020

Charles Sturt announces plans for economic and academic sustainability

Forthcoming transformation program will reshape and reposition the university to ensure excellence.

  • Plans to implement an operating model that delivers high-quality courses to students in a sustainable way.
  • Each element of the university operating model to be reviewed to respond to $80 million decline in revenue.

Charles Sturt University is announcing a transformation program, Sustainable Futures, designed to reshape and reposition the university to ensure Charles Sturt delivers excellence.  This will build on the strengths of the University and ensure its future is financially and academically sustainable.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann said, “Like many sectors, universities are facing significant hardship in the coming years. At Charles Sturt, we have a decline in revenue of $80 million, the majority of which is associated with our international program. We must act quickly and with purpose to remediate this financial position.  

“Our plans are designed to ensure we have an operating model across our courses and campuses that is viable, market responsive and drives academic excellence.

It is imperative that we ensure financial sustainability and return to a balanced budget by the end of 2021 while delivering higher education and research opportunities for the people of regional Australia.”

Professor Vann noted that to achieve these objectives, the University must implement an operating model that is structured to meet our needs as a university and those of our communities, delivering distinctive degrees and quality teaching, learning and research.

The University’s plan will focus on key areas to deliver the savings required. This includes changes to the workforce, courses and campuses and a review of non-salary expenses.

“Each element of our operating model will be reviewed to ensure we deliver a course and subject portfolio that is high-quality and sustainable. We expect to release plans for consultation on the first round of changes by the end of June 2020.

Unfortunately, we will be unable to achieve the savings required to be sustainable without job losses. We do not have a target number – we will review our operations carefully and with respect to ensure we have the right structures to deliver our sustainability objectives.

As the number one provider in online education, we have demonstrated that we have the capability and drive to be a leader in quality higher education, this program will cement our position well into the future.

“The University will communicate with our staff, stakeholders and students to consult on the proposed changes as they evolve. This is not a decision the University has made lightly and we are very mindful of the impact this would have on any staff affected, however it is imperative we act now to preserve a future for our University – an important anchor in the regional communities in which we serve,” Professor Vann said.

The University will make final recommendations regarding a second round of workforce changes by early 2021 with a view to return to a balanced budget by the end of 2021.

The University executive and University Council have committed to a 10 per cent pay cut for an initial period of six months to support savings targets.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Professor Andrew Vann, Vice-Chancellor, contact Jessica Mansour-Nahra at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0447 737 948 or

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