CHARLES Sturt University chiefs should look at shifting their headquarters to Wagga rather than pursue a name change, former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer says.
“The only change that CSU might carefully consider is to shift its headquarters from Bathurst to Wagga Wagga as was originally intended and so provide better campus linkages,” Mr Fischer said.
He recalled Bathurst only became home to the university’s hierarchy, ahead of Wagga, by a single vote of an administrative committee when CSU was being formed.
Mr Fischer, who in 2001 was awarded an honorary doctorate by CSU, said Wagga, being between Albury and Bathurst campuses, made geographic sense to be the hub.
CSU has flagged changing names to Sturt University with deputy vice-chancellor (students) Jenny Roberts citing confusion with the similarly abbreviated Colorado State University.
Foundation vice-chancellor Cliff Blake opposes the switch as do more than 5000 people who have signed an online petition organised by CSU alumni.
“To be honest I’m with Dr Cliff Blake and I do not support a change because I don’t think the case for change, even withstanding Colorado State University, is strong enough,” Mr Fischer said.
He added “right now I’m not in the mood to genuflect to anything in the USA”, hinting at his frustration with the administration of that country.
Mr Fischer’s MP successor Sussan Ley, a CSU Master of Accountancy graduate, also wants the status quo.
“There’s quite a lot of pride and affection from past students of CSU, including myself,” Ms Ley said.
“I’m not sure the uni has convincingly made the case on the need to rebrand itself.”
CSU expects to be make final decision next month following consultation.
The name flip follows the University of Western Sydney being reborn as the Western Sydney University in 2015.
It used language akin to that of CSU to defend the shift and met a similar backlash with students upset at the cost and the ditching of a bird logo for a giant W.