INTERNET confusion between Colorado State University and Charles Sturt University is a trigger to change the NSW school’s name to Sturt University.
Charles Sturt University deputy vice-chancellor (students) Jenny Roberts said the identical initials of her institution and its US counterpart were problematic.
“The reality is that most people go and call Charles Sturt University CSU and if you Google CSU what comes up is Colorado State University and there’s quite a few universities that have c, s and u in their title,” Ms Roberts said.
She noted in Australia, Sunshine Coast University and Southern Cross University were both shortened to SCU and CSU shared its first name with the Northern Territory’s Charles Darwin University.
“What we know is that universities with one name don’t get their names shortened, such as Monash University – it doesn’t become MU,” Ms Roberts said.
“Sturt University was seen as fresh and strong and modern but with a connection to our heritage.”
The mooted change has drawn criticism with an online petition, set-up by alumni, attracting more than 4000 signatures.
Ms Roberts noted the opposition in that forum but said “we want to see if there is a balanced view out there” via community feedback.
“We haven’t locked in a decision at all,” she said.
Hi Wagga Crow, yes CSU has purchased the domain names https://t.co/1jxRVGC6kA and https://t.co/ShMZSE46EF, in case we do proceed with renaming. However it does not mean the decision has already been made. We’re gathering feedback from our students and community. Thank you.— Charles Sturt Uni (@CharlesSturtUni) January 8, 2019
Much of the criticism has centred on the potential cost of the name switch.
Ms Roberts said $24 million had been allocated to a university strategy that includes rebranding.
She could not say how much of that figure would be spent specifically on naming.
“If this does happen it won’t be a switch off one day and a switch on the next day (with signage changes),” Ms Roberts said.
“It will be very much a phased process over a number of years.”
A final decision is expected to be made before Orientation Week at the end of February.
Asked about whether a change to Wiradjuri University would be seriously considered, Ms Roberts said she was open to all name suggestions but Sturt was the preferred option.
One petition signatory Al Murphy wrote “Wiraduguri (sic) University? come on enough with these leftist PC views”.
Mr Williams responded: “Thirty years ago it was politically correct to name it after Charles Sturt, did they think about 65,000 years of history rather than 30 years?”
CSU was formed in 1989 via mergers of campuses in Albury, Bathurst and Wagga.