Charles Sturt University (CSU) has announced a $16.2 million structural deficit at the start of the 2020-21 financial year, but it believes it's in a strong position to overcome its current financial challenges.
On Tuesday, CSU acting vice-chancellor Professor John Germov announced the deficit, saying the coronavirus pandemic was forecast to have a negative impact of approximately $80 million of the university's revenue.
"The revenue impact of COVID-19 resulted in a forecast deficit of more than $49.5 million in the 2020 financial year," he said.
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"The implementation of Sustainable Futures will reduce this deficit to approximately $22 million in the 2020 financial year and the full implementation of the program will put the university on the path to a balanced budget by the end of the 2021 financial year.
"This means structural financial issues led to our pre-COVID deficit and we are taking the right actions to fix those on top of managing the unprecedented impact of COVID-19."
The Sustainable Futures program was launched back in May to help reshape and reposition CSU, to help deliver high-quality education and research for its students, communities and industry.
We are confident we are in a strong position to steer the university through the current challenges ...CSU acting vice-chancellor Professor John Germov
As CSU progressed with the program, it approached KPMG back in August to conduct an independent review to verify our financial position.
The review concluded CSU's structural deficit and COVID-19's negative impact on the university's revenue.
"We have shared this update with relevant stakeholders and it has been positively received," Prof Germov said.
"We are confident we are in a strong position to steer the university through the current challenges and will continue to deliver for our regions in the long term.
"The response from the staff at Charles Sturt has been exceptional as the university has dealt with this challenging period."
Vice-chancellor Andrew Vann is currently on a six-month sabbatical, which had been approved by the university prior to the coronavirus outbreak.
CSU has also previously said it had begun advertising for a new vice-chancellor to take over from Professor Vann, who had been contracted to the university until December 2021.