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CROMWELL COLLEGE within The University of Queensland

ANNUAL REPORT 2013


CHAIRPERSON’S REPORT University college life gives students a unique experience of academic community living. At Cromwell we have a reputation for academic excellence, the “place to be” for students who are serious about their studies and the demand for places each year well outstrips the places available, with many suitable students having to be turned away. The Grade Point Averages of the students in 2013 shows strong and rising academic results, facilitated by the student support structure in particular the Dean of Students and Academic Advisor; and college services – housekeeping, buildings and maintenance, grounds, kitchen and administration – and the community. It is the College belief that excellence in scholarship is not confined to academic achievement but experience in a full range for sporting, cultural, social and spiritual activities. There are many activities for students to choose from as well as personal and academic support from a range of people within the College community and the community environment itself. The spirit of support and pride in the College is strongly evident throughout the student body but also in the staff and College leadership.

Girls AFL Team

This year has been a successful one in all respects. In particular I mention the general “tone” of the College: an intangible combination of buoyancy, participation, and enthusiasm, which has always been a positive feature and which has been even stronger this year. We have a dedicated Board of Governors who contribute through participation in the Board, the Executive Committee, the Property Committee, the Finance Committee and the Foundation as well as personal activities. A major factor in the Board’s effectiveness is the diverse range of backgrounds, talents and interests bringing a multifaceted dimension to decision making. I thank them for their commitment to the College. Professor Debbie Terry, Senate Representative, has departed from the Board as she has moved to West Australia to take up a Vice-Chancellorship. We thank her for her assistance and wish her well. Dr Stuart Bade and Richard Shannon, both ex-Cromwell students have joined the Board of Governors. Strategic planning and visioning has become an increasing focus of the Board. Strategic directions in relation to decisions are a regular feature of Board meetings. Time away in the one day annual retreat is underpinning the development of a future vision for the College. We followed up the initial 2012 Board Retreat with another in June 2013, and already the 2014 Retreat is well down the planning stages.


An extension to the dining room in the form of a Dining Room Deck was planned during 2013 in order for building to start at the end of the academic year and be completed when students return. We continue to re-connect with our alumni, both through the personal contacts being made by our Principal and the development of the profile of the Foundation by Chairperson Ben de Jong. In July Cromwell hosted a dinner for the University Vice-Chancellor and the other Colleges. I thank the Vice Chairperson Tim Courtice for deputising for me in my absence overseas. I lead the list of acknowledgements with our principal Mr Ross Switzer and Mrs Jenny Switzer for their enthusiasm and commitment to Cromwell. In addition there is: 

The Board of Governors for the multiple skills they are willing to use for the betterment of the College.

The staff for their efforts to help the College run smoothly.

The Students’ Association who have worked with the principal and the Board of Governors in making this a great place.

Those who have given financial support to Cromwell.

I have enjoyed this year of service to the College and am proud to be associated with a community of people who have such a positive impact on the lives of students. Finally there is my thanks to God for the goodness he has shown our College and my prayers to him that his blessings will continue.

DR J GOODALL Chairperson


SECRETARY’S REPORT Five general meetings and one special meeting of the Board were held during 2013. Those holding office during the year were as follows: TRUSTEES: Chairman Dr J Goodall Treasurer Mr B M Rollason Secretary Ms M Long BOARD OF GOVERNORS: The number of meetings attended is indicated in brackets. Ex officio:

The Principal, Mr R A Switzer (6 of 6)

Elected by the Uniting Church, Queensland Synod: Mr B B de Jong (4 of 6) Mr B M Rollason (6 of 6) Dr J Goodall (5 of 6) Rev P J Lockhart (5 of 6) Elected by the Board of Governors: Dr T Christa (5 of 6) Dr A J Cousins (3 of 6) The Hon Justice J A Logan (3 of 6) Dr J Porter (2 of 6)

Mr T D H Courtice (5 of 6) Ms M Long (6 of 6) Mr A E McChesney-Clark (6 of 6)

Life Governors: Mr M J C Head Elected by Cromwell College Old Collegians’ Association: Dr S Bade (4 of 6) Mr R Shannon (6 of 6) Appointed by the Senate of the University of Queensland: Prof D Terry (2 of 6) Elected by Cromwell College Students’ Association: Mr J Duffy (4 of 6) Mr B T McNamara (5 of 6) Mr D Henalla (1 of 1) Mr L Power (1 of 1) Visitor to the College: The Moderator of the Uniting Church, Queensland Synod: Rev K Ronalds OFFICERS AND COMMITTEES: At the 62nd Annual General Meeting held on 20th March 2013, the following officers were elected: Chairman: Deputy Chair Secretary: Treasurer:

Dr J Goodall Mr T D H Courtice Ms M Long Mr B M Rollason


Executive Committee Five Executive Committee meetings were held during the year. Mr R A Switzer ex officio (5 of 5), Dr J Goodall (4 of 5), Mr B B de Jong (4 of 5), Mr T D H Courtice (3 of 5), Mr B M Rollason (4 of 5), Dr J Porter (4 of 5), Mr A E McChesney-Clark (5 of 5), Ms M Long (2 of 5), Mr J Duffy (4 of 5), Mr B T McNamara (4 of 5), Mr D Henalla (1 of 1) and Mr L Power (1 of 1). Property Committee Eight Property Committee meetings were held during the year. Mr A E McChesney-Clark - Chairman (8 of 8) Mr R A Switzer (8 of 8) Mr B T McNamara (7 of 8) Mr L Power (1 of 1)

Dr J Porter (4 of 8) Mr J Duffy (4 of 8) Mr D Henalla (1 of 1)

Finance Committee One Finance Committee meeting was held during the year. Mr B M Rollason (Treasurer) (1) Ms M Long (1) Mr B T McNamara (0)

Mr R A Switzer (1) Mr J Duffy (1)

APPOINTMENTS: Grant Thornton was appointed as College Auditor. BOARD ACTIVITIES: In 2013 the Board continued to support and celebrate the academic, sporting, cultural and spiritual development of all Cromwellians. The board devoted significant time to future planning activities, including a planning day held in June. Considerable discussion continues as the College cautiously navigates and anticipates the changes in the tertiary sector including future needs of university students with the advance of teaching technology, in particular Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). During the year the Board approved expenditure for infrastructure, most notably the current Dining Room Deck project providing a modern and functional expansion to the existing dining room area. The Board continues to subsidise students’ attendance at the National Association of Australian University Colleges Conference (NAAUC). The Board farewelled several long standing members over the course of 2013, and we thank them for their on-going commitment to maintaining the high quality residential family we have at Cromwell College.

MS M LONG Secretary


PRINCIPAL’S REPORT I have pleasure in presenting the Principal’s Annual Report for Cromwell College 2013. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Cromwell stakeholders for what has been a very successful year. Our students are the lifeblood of their College and its reason for being. Academically this year, our 247 students achieved an overall GPA of 5.17 which is a truly excellent result across the whole College. The ICC sporting and cultural competitions were approached with the usual pride, spiritual enquiry engaged a growing number, and a wide variety of well planned social activities provided the glue to further bond everyone together. There indeed continues to be a very strong and positive spirit here at Cromwell which runs far deeper than any materialistic aspects or quantifiable data. The Student Leadership Team provided mature guidance and support to our students. I sincerely thank Student President (James Duffy) and his Executive for their leadership and management of the student activities, and the Resident Assistants’ (RA) group for their dedication, commitment, and extensive time and effort in the corridors with the students. Last year I created the new role of All Ages Coordinator. Its aim was to support the growing number of students both under and over 18 for whom drinking was not a priority, and to develop more ‘dry’ activities for the whole College to further promote inclusion. Candice Jones has done a terrific job this year working with the social conveners and RA’s to advance this role. Linked to this, the College has a very strong relationship with Red Frogs, who support many of our social activities. My wife Jenny and I were very fortunate to be able to work for a night alongside Red Frog (and former Cromwell student) Matthew Goulter at Schoolies’ Week at Surfers Paradise.

Ross Switzer (Principal) and Matthew Goulter (Alumni) working with Red Frogs

Our small staff team continued to offer outstanding support to our students. Dean of Students (Nathan Croft) and Student Advisor (Geoffrey White) together provided care for our students around the clock, ably supported by the maintenance, catering and housekeeping staff led by Fred Deckers, Noelene Brooks and Chris Raymond respectively. The office team provided further support for all, and I sincerely thank Barbara Pegg, Sarah Brewer, Donna Howett and Robyn Slater in this regard. Throughout this year several staff moved on to other endeavours and on behalf of the whole community I wish Barbara Pegg (Business Manager), Ben Schirmer (Catering Attendant),


Paul Paterson-Fleider (Maintenance Assistant) and Ross Doyle (Cleaner) every success for their future. The College is fortunate in having a dedicated and multi-skilled volunteer governing body capably led by Chairman Dr Joe Goodall. I thank them for their strategic vision and student focus in their work, and for their professional and personal support of me as Principal / CEO. Cromwell continues to foster a positive relationship with the other colleges and the University. The University Colleges Australia (Qld Chapter) meets monthly where matters of mutual interest are discussed relative to the further evolution of contemporary legal and social landscapes to improve student outcomes across all colleges. I attended the UCA Annual Conference at the Gold Coast in October. I am the Alcohol Policy advisor to the UQ Heads of Colleges group, and I have represented the Heads’ group on the Inter College Council Board of Governors, and on the Inter Colleges’ Sports Committee (ICSC). This year Cromwell hosted the University’s Senior Management Team and College Heads for a special Gala Dinner at the College, in addition to several senior academics speaking to our students at Formal Dinners throughout the year. Outside of the tertiary sector, I serve as an external validator for the Non State Schools Accreditation Board, assisting independent schools to work through the process of re registration. Strategically the College is moving towards a new phase as broader technological teaching and learning is embraced by the University. The future increased delivery of lecture material online with on campus attendance to value add, provides challenges for Colleges as they strive to position themselves as meeting the academic needs of students of the future who, through changed teaching and learning methods, may have more unstructured time. Cromwell recognizes strategically that having the correct human and capital resources to meet these challenges will be essential. The Board of Governors will be deliberating further over these matters in their Strategic Planning Retreat in March 2014. The College embarked on a new capital project this year expanding our Dining Room facilities in the form of an impressive Dining Room Deck. An extensive process of consultation preceded final drawings and specifications. The project was delivered on budget and close to on time.

The Dining Room Deck project nearing completion


Cromwell College returned an operating surplus of over $873K this year with $930K (as at 31/12/13) remaining to be paid on the H.M. Begbie Building loan of $4.98M undertaken in 2010. I expect this Begbie Building debt to be fully extinguished early in 2014. The College continues to perform very well financially. Cromwell College, including Campus Lodge, is fully occupied. Conference and visitor trade has also been an attractive source of additional income with three major conference groups staying at the College at various times this year, along with a steady flow of visitors. Enrolment interest remains strong. In 2013 Cromwell College received 193 enrolment applications for 105 places. Demand for places at Cromwell remains high. Enrolment interviews and parent functions hosted by my wife and I in selected regional areas and at the College have also positioned the College well in terms of current, past and future families, and their schools. Campus Lodge continues to perform very well indeed. The exploration of a Service Project in impoverished western Zambia is well under way with implementation scheduled to commence from 2014 to further complement the mission and values of the College. Despite the many successes, it is important for Cromwell to continue to preserve the best of its past, but to move ahead and meet contemporary challenges. Cromwell is positioned well to meet the complex changing needs of contemporary emerging adults. Constantly striving to exceed expectations around the ongoing challenges in both the physical and mental health of young people when applied to their academic and pastoral life is not an exact science, but it is what drives all of us here committed to making a positive difference. With the unique spirit that is Cromwell, anything is possible.

MR R A SWITZER Principal / Chief Executive


TREASURER’S REPORT Operations for the year ended 31.12.13 resulted in a surplus of $873,572 (2012: $870,119). Full details of income and expenditure can be found in the accompanying Financial Report with further information provided in a separate Statement attached as Page 16. Components of overall income and expense, in percentage terms, are shown in the following pie charts. For comparison purposes, the previous year’s percentages are shown in brackets.

Income Sources - 2013 *2012 Comparison Appears in Brackets

Campus Lodge Rental 14.1% (13.9%) Accommodation and Function Charges 6.4% (7.5%) Student Fees 78.7% (77.8%)

Interest Received 0.1% (0.1%) Sundry Income 0.7% (0.7%)

Expenses - 2013 (Excl Depreciation) *2012 Comparison Appears in Brackets 1.6% (1.5%) 1.6% (1.7%) 2.1% (2.0%) 3.0% (2.6%)

Salaries, Wages and Associated costs Food and Provisions

6.0% (5.2%) 48.7% (46.9%)

Maintenance NAB Interest Expense

4.6% (4.4%)

Gas and Electricity 5.7% (5.3%) 0.9% (3.8%) 8.9% (10.4%)

Rates- General, Water and Fire & Rescue Services Levy Cleaning CITG Contributions and IT Expenses Insurance Sports Subsidy

16.9% (16.2%)

Sundry Expenses


Realistic and well managed financial budgets including the establishment of reserves have, over many years, allowed the College to reach a point where it can claim to provide well-appointed accommodation and related facilities which meet all regulatory requirements at a fair market price in terms of its constitutional aspirations. Overall expenditure including depreciation was contained to a rise of 4.0% over 2012. Overall income of $5,031,188 was 3.4% higher than that for 2012 which reflects the Board’s desire to offer a College environment at an affordable price. Maintenance of and upgrading / improving the various facilities (College proper and Campus Lodge) never ends with capital projects totalling $825,000 listed for consideration in 2014. A major component of this ($380,000) refers to the Dining Room Deck. Other necessary work includes College gutter replacements, air-conditioning of common areas, car park improvements and so on. All of these costs will be met from reserves. The Board’s aim to achieve early retirement of the original loan facility ($4,985,000) associated with the construction of the “Begbie” accommodation block will likely be met by mid-2014. At 31.12.13 the balance owing was $930,000. As previously reported, oversight of property expenditure and attention to any significant matters involving upkeep of buildings, grounds, etc., is well served by the Property Committee, a Committee of the Board, in conjunction with the Principal and his staff. In my opinion, financial management of the College is well served by competent personnel and their assistance to me has been much appreciated.

MR B.M. ROLLASON Treasurer 04.03.14


Cromwell College 2013 Residents

2013 Annual Report