Charles Sturt University (CSU) was established as Australia's 26th University on 19 July 1989 by the Charles Sturt University Act (NSW). The Act brought together the Mitchell College of Advanced Education in Bathurst and the Riverina-Murray Institute of Higher Education in Wagga Wagga and Albury/Wodonga.
The name of the University honours the noted explorer, soldier and public servant Charles Sturt. Sturt's major achievement was as an explorer. He was particularly associated with explorations of the Macquarie, Lachlan, Murrumbidgee, Darling and Murray River Systems - the principal rivers of the region which CSU was established to serve.
The University was created as a federated, network university with semi-independent member campuses and a central administration. Amendments to the Act in 1998 now encapsulate in the legislation the structure of the University which evolved during the University's first ten years of operation.
The new structure may be described as an integrated, multi-campus structure in which the major academic units, the Faculties, are represented on at least three campuses of the University and the administrative divisions have University-wide rather than campus-specific responsibilities.
As required by the Act, the University operates main campuses in Albury-Wodonga, Bathurst, Dubbo and Wagga Wagga. CSU operates from other locations including the City of Sydney, Manly, Goulburn, Canberra, Morpeth and Broken Hill. The University's headquarters, the Chancellory known as The Grange which houses the Vice-Chancellor's office, is located on the Bathurst campus.
The mission of Charles Sturt University is to produce graduates with a professional edge who are competitive in meeting the present and changing needs of society, commerce and industry.
It seeks to achieve this mission by:
Statement of Values
Charles Sturt University:
This Charter sets out the expectations that you as a member of the University community may have of us (the University) and your fellow students; and the expectations that we and other students may have of you. We recognise that teaching and learning is a cooperative endeavour and this is reflected in the Charter which we regard as a statement of practice not just intent.
Expectations you and other students may have of us:
Expectations that we and other students may have of you:
The governing body of the University is the Council. It has a membership of nineteen comprising: the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and the Presiding Officer of the Academic Senate as ex officio members; two parliamentary members; four members appointed by the NSW Minister for Education and Training; four graduate members nominated by the Council and appointed by the Minister; three elected staff members, two student members; and one of the Heads of Campus who serve for one year on a rotational basis. The Council meets at least five times each year.
Committees of the Council
The Council is assisted in its work by five committees: the Finance Committee; the Audit Committee; the Personnel Committee; the Honorary Awards Committee; and a Standing Committee which meets only to deal with urgent matters.
The Vice-Chancellor is the chief executive officer of the University and is accountable to the Council for the good government of the University. The Vice-Chancellor is assisted by a Deputy Vice-Chancellor and three Pro-Vice-Chancellors.
Heads of Campus
Each of the four main campuses has a Head of Campus who, by virtue or being the Deputy Vice-Chancellor or a Pro Vice-Chancellor has University-wide accountabilities as well as being responsible for representing and promoting a particular campus.
Campus Advisory Committees
Each main campus has an advisory committee to the Head of Campus with particular responsibility for campus services and facilities and for establishing and enhancing links between the campus and the communities it serves. Campus advisory committees comprise representatives of the communities served by the campus.
Support Divisions and Departments
Administrative and academic support services are provided by the Divisions and Departments of the University, each headed by an Executive Director or Director who have University-wide responsibilities.
The Divisions include: Human Resources; Financial Services; University Properties; Information Technology; Library Services; Student Services; and the Open Learning Institute. The Departments include: Student Administration; the International Office; Secretary; the Office for Research and Consultancy Services; the Centre for Graduate Studies and the Aboriginal Education Unit.
The Academic Senate is the principal academic body of the University. It has delegated authority from the Council to make and monitor academic policy.
The Senate has a membership of twenty-three comprising: two members of the professoriate elected by the Senate as the Presiding Officer and Deputy Presiding Officer; the Vice-Chancellor; Deans of Faculty; Executive Director of the Open Learning Institute; Executive Director of Library Services, Director of the Centre for Graduate Studies; and the Director of Aboriginal Education as ex officio members; three Pro-Vice-Chancellors appointed by the Council; one elected academic staff member of each Faculty; and two students nominated by the student associations.
The Senate meets five times each year and is assisted in its work by seven committees.
Academic Programs Committee
The Academic Programs Committee advises the Senate on matters relating to undergraduate programs and postgraduate coursework programs and has delegated authority from the Senate to approve new and revised programs submitted to it by the Faculties.
Board of Graduate Studies
The Board of Graduate Studies advises the Senate on matters relating to Higher Degree Research Programs including professional doctorate programs and has delegated authority from the Senate to administer these programs.
Research Management Committee
The Research Management Committee advises the Senate on Research Development and Management. The Committee also allocates research grants.
Other Committees of the Senate
The Senate has a number of other committees to perform specialist functions. These include: the Academic Appeals Committee which decides student appeals against exclusion and other academic decisions; the Academic Awards Committee which certifies that students have met the requirements of their courses and are eligible to graduate; the Quality Audit Committee which is responsible for auditing the effectiveness of Senate's policies; and the University Medals Committee which awards University Medals to academically outstanding students.
Faculties and Schools
The University's academic activities (teaching, research and consultancy) is the province of the five Faculties of the University: Arts; Commerce; Education; Health Studies; and Science and Agriculture. Each Faculty is headed by a Dean who is responsible to the Vice-Chancellor through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for the management of the Faculty.
The Faculties, which are multi-campus, comprise campus-based Schools and, in a few cases, campus-based academic units which are smaller than a School. Each school is managed by a Head of School responsible to the Dean.
Faculties are responsible for the development and delivery of courses whereas Schools are responsible for the curriculum and the teaching of the subjects that comprise courses.
Each Faculty has a Faculty Board, chaired by the Dean, which is responsible for the quality of the Faculty's courses, research, consultancy and other academic activities. Each School of the Faculty is represented on the Faculty Board.
Committees of the Faculty Boards
The Faculty Boards have a number of committees to perform specialist functions on behalf of the Board. These include: a Courses Committee which advises the Board on new and revised course proposals; an Assessment Committee which approves the awarding of grades; a Graduate Studies Committee which monitors the Faculty's higher degree research students; a Research Committee which monitors the Faculty's research and consultancy endeavours; and a Standing Committee to handle urgent issues.
Each School has a School Board, chaired by the Head of School, which is responsible for the quality of the teaching and assessment of the School's subjects and the other academic activities of the School.
Each course offered by a Faculty is managed by a course co-ordinator who is a member of the academic staff of the Faculty. The course co-ordinator is responsible for ensuring that students in a course meet all the requirements of the course required for graduation and abide by the regulations and other policies approved by the Senate.
From the outset, CSU decided to focus its research effort in those areas where it has particular depth and strength of academic and research capability. As a consequence of this approach it has established five research centres and five research groups which are emerging research centres.
The University is also a partner in three cooperative research centres established and supported under the Commonwealth Government's Cooperative Research Centre Program; and it has established four professional centres which conduct collaborative research with an industry partner.
A brief description of each of these centres and groups follows.
Centre for Cultural Research into Risk
The Centre for Cultural Research into Risk was established to address the socio cultural dimensions of risk in contemporary societies. It currently researches risk in the areas of health, media, citizenship and childhood and youth. Examples of research projects recently undertaken include: fear of crime; risk and youth culture; risk in the culture of professions.
Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics
The Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics was established to promote research and teaching in professional and applied ethics. The Centre researches and teaches in the areas of communication ethics, business ethics, professional ethics, criminal justice ethics, welfare ethics, ethics in government and the public service and social and theological ethics.
Centre for Rural Social Research
The Centre for Rural Social Research was established to research social issued affecting rural communities and to bring to the notice of policy makers the results of that research. It currently researches in the areas of: rural social conditions; rural social policy and human service delivery; communications, technology and community development; and the social aspects of agriculture, the environment and sustainability.
Farrer Centre for Conservation Farming
The Farrer Centre was established to advance the sustainability of agricultural production and the rural environment through research, education and consultancy. The Centre comprises CSU staff and representatives of the NSW Departments of Agriculture and of Land and Water Conservation, the CSIRO and Industry. Current research focuses on: farming systems; integrated pest management; soil and waster management; biotechnology; Internet technologies; and education and technology transfer.
Johnstone Centre for Social and Biophysical Environmental Research
The Johnstone Centre was established to assist in conserving the world's biological and cultural diversity. The Centre focuses on the ecosystems of the Murray-Darling Basin, rural Australia and rural areas in the Asia Pacific region with an emphasis on the management of protected areas. Current research is grouped into program areas including: ecosystem dynamics and management; social and historical dimensions of sustainable development; recreation, tourism and related human factors of natural resource management; and environmental informatics and decision-support for sustainable development.
Adaptive Informatics Research Group
The Adaptive Informatics Research Group studies the structure, behaviour and communication of natural and artificial systems that adapt to changes in their environment. Research themes include virtual environments such as human-computer interaction; adaptive systems including the development of complex behaviour from simple rule-based systems; and self-describing systems including self-organisational automatic indexing of large data collections.
Forensic Psychology Research Group
Research undertaken by the Forensic Psychology Research Group includes community concern about children as witnesses; jurors' decisions as influenced by complexity of evidence and trial processes; public perception of the role of intent and consequences in sentencing; competency to stand trial; eyewitness identification in evidence; and criminal profiling of missing persons and child sex offenders.
Group for Research in Employment and Training (GREAT)
The Group for Research in Employment and Training is a cross-disciplinary group from the Faculties of Commerce and Education which carries out applied research, consultancy and professional continuing education in workplace training and learning, vocational education, management ethics and organisational change.
Spatial Analysis Research Support Unit
The Spatial Analysis Research Support Unit co-ordinates research, consultancy and training in image processing, remote sensing, airborne videography, geographic information systems and related spatial data processing technologies.
Teacher Education Research Group
The Teacher Education Research Group specialises in research into pre-service and in-service teacher education, and the study of teachers and their work. Innovative areas include the study of partnerships with schools and education systems and approaches to practica and internships.
Cooperative Research Centres
Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Rice Production
The Cooperative Research for Sustainable Rice Production aims to increase the economic, environmental and social sustainability of the Australian rice industry and increase its international competitiveness by addressing key constraints in the production market chain between rice genes and end-use products. The University leads the education program and makes specialist contributions in management of soil acidity and fertility, weed ecology, and extension and information technology. Member organisations include: CSU, University of Sydney, CSIRO Division of Plant Industry, CSIRO Land and Water, NSW Agriculture, NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and Ricegrowers' Cooperative Limited.
Cooperative Research Centre for Viticulture
The Cooperative Research Centre for Viticulture focuses Australia's collective research, extension and education activities in viticulture for dried fruits, table grapes and wine grapes to produce higher quality, more efficiently grown and contaminant free grapes. Member organisations include: Charles Sturt University, The University of Adelaide, The CSIRO Division of Horticulture, The Australian Wine Research Institute and NSW and Victorian Departments of Agriculture.
Cooperative Research Centre for Weed Management Systems
The Cooperative Research Centre for Weed Management Systems aims to
reduce the impact of weeds on farm productivity and profitability, to develop
practical integrated weed management systems for the sustainability and
productivity of Australian temperate perennial pastures and natural ecosystems
and to provide a coordinated approach to education and adoption of weed
management strategies. The University makes specialist contributions in allopathy, herbicide resistance and weed biology. Member organisations include: CSU, CSIRO Divisions of Entomology and Plant Industry, NSW Agriculture, University of Adelaide, University of New England, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Victoria, Grains Research and Development Corporation, Agriculture Western Australia and Avcare Pty Ltd. CSU is an associate of the Centre.
Centre for Immunoregulation
The Centre for Immunoregulation is funded by the University and North Star Biologicals Pty Ltd. The Centre specialises in the development of active vaccines or antibody preparations to improve the efficiency of animal growth, production of milk, meat or wool and to improve muscle function.
Gilmore Centre for Rural Health Development
The Gilmore Centre, named after the poet, humanist and internationalist Dame Mary Gilmore, was established to improve rural health. The Centre is a joint initiative involving CSU and the NSW Department of Health. Its current objectives are to: improve the quality of and access to rural health services; encourage entrepreneurial activities in rural health; and research rural health needs through consumer consultation.
National Wine and Grape Industry Centre
The National Wine and Grape Industry Centre was established to research in the areas of viticulture, wine science and in related areas of food science. Research within the Centre focuses on improvements in viticulture, grape and wine quality, pest and disease management and food technology. The Centre has links with wine and food companies and the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation.
Western Research Institute
The Western Research Institute undertakes research and consultancy on economic issues that impact on regional Australia. Research areas include regional aspects of competition policy, finance, trading area development, cost benefit and economic impact analysis, and exports and rural industries. The Western Research Institute is an independent research collaboration between State and Federal governments and community agencies from the Central West, Orana and Far West regions. Its first corporate sponsor is Advance Energy. It supports business and industry developments in western NSW through research and provision of information.