Fears for SCU tourism school
By Nerida Blok
Lismore Councillor Jenny Dowell has raised fears Southern Cross University's internationally recognised School of Tourism will be moved to Tweed Heads.
Such a move would affect more than 340 students and staff and cost the local economy millions of dollars.
SCU's management yesterday said no decisions had been made.
Cr Dowell told the Lismore Council of the planned move on Tuesday night.
She wanted to make council aware of the impact of the loss of 300 internal students and 40 staff.
The move is believed to be planned for 2007 or 2008.
The university yesterday issued a statement saying it was considering a number of options relating to its tourism and hospitality management programs, but no decisions had been made.
Acting SCU vice-chancellor Professor Zbys Klich said the university was looking at ways 'to ensure all campuses had an appropriate, viable and distinctive course mix'.
"The Tweed/Gold Coast campus is at full capacity now," he said.
"Any decision regarding further development there is dependent on the university receiving additional Federal Government funding for capital development."
Prof Klich said the university would continue to enrol students in tourism and hospitality management programs at Lismore.
Current and prospective students would not be disadvantaged by future changes or planned growth elsewhere, he said.
Head of the tourism and hospitality management school, Dr Perry Hobson, was not at work yesterday and could not be reached for comment.
Cr Dowell said yesterday the council had signed a memorandum of understanding with the university in July last year, which was why she said she deliberately announced the transfer.
"If it is a major move that will affect the university and community, I would have thought the council should be involved," she said.