CROMWELL COLLEGE within The University of Queensland
ANNUAL REPORT 2010
CHAIRMANâ€™S STATEMENT As I reflect on the events of 2010, it would be fair to say that it was a significant year in the life of Cromwell College. It was the year where we celebrated our 60th year and we did this with a gala dinner on Saturday 3rd July when some 200 guests had a fabulous evening and then, on Sunday, a Chapel service and lunch was enjoyed with another 100 guests. These were great occasions to help celebrate this milestone. We can be truly proud of the heritage and achievements of this fine College. During the year we said farewell to the Rev Dr Hugh Begbie who had served this College as Principal for 15.5 years. Let me again record our sincere appreciation and gratitude for his leadership, devotion and passion for Cromwell College. He has left a marvellous legacy and will long be remembered for his contribution to the lives of so many students. Mr Ross Switzer was appointed Chief Executive Office and Principal of Cromwell College. Ross and his wife Jenny have had an immediate and positive impact on our students. The transition of Principals was very smooth and effective. During the year there were a number of other changes. Dr Dale Mason who served as a temporary Dean of Students moved on and Mr Nathan Croft was appointed to this very important role. Rebecca McEwen Smith decided not to renew her contract and Anna East became Development Manager. Anna quickly took over the 60th celebrations. At the end of the year we said farewell to the two Student Association representatives on the Board, Joanne Landmark and Fleur Hopkins who both made a positive contribution to the life of Cromwell College. Mrs Barbara Merefield, a long standing member of the Board of Governors who resigned in late 2009, was also made a member of Fellows of Cromwell College in recognition of her years of service. After 10 years, 2010 marks the end of major refurbishments of almost all of the College buildings. This is a marvellous achievement especially when you consider that this was done without borrowings. As you will see in the treasurerâ€™s report, some $12 M was spent over that period. Finally, 2010 marked the time that planning for the new wing was started. This is a significant addition to the facilities offered by Cromwell and it was achieved despite numerous challenges. Let me place on record our appreciation of the Property Committee, the staff and the Board of Governors for their determination to see the completion of this project. It will be wise for the College to take a break from any new development for a while until we reduce the debt, unless of course we receive a substantial gift from a benefactor.
It takes a team to manage and run a successful College like Cromwell. Each player in the team has a different role and equally all members of the team are important, but collectively, working together there is a great outcome. This College is amongst the best because of its team work. I would like to thank them. • Rev Dr Hugh Begbie and Mr & Mrs Ross Switzer • The College Staff • The Students’ Association and students • The Members of the Board of Governors • Alumni, Friends and supporters of Cromwell I commend this Annual Report to you.
May the Lord continue to bless you.
Ben de Jong Chairman of the Board of Governors of Cromwell College
ANNUAL REPORT BY THE SECRETARY Five meetings of the Board were held during 2010. Two Special Meetings were also held on 17th February 2010 and 23rd June 2010. Those holding office during the year were as follows: TRUSTEES: Chairman Mr B B de Jong Treasurer Mr B M Rollason Secretary Dr P B Catt BOARD OF GOVERNORS:
The number of meetings attended is indicated in brackets. Ex officio:
The Principal, Rev Dr H M Begbie (2) retired 30/5/2010 (3 of 3) The Principal, Mr R A Switzer (3) from 31/5/2010 (4 of 4).
Elected by the Uniting Church, Queensland Synod: Rev G M Cole (3 of 7) Mr B B de Jong (6 of 7) Dr L Farrell (4 of 7) Dr J Goodall (5 of 7) Mr B M Rollason (7 of 7) Elected by the Board of Governors: Mr T D H Courtice (4 of 7) Ms M Long (2 of 7) Mr A E McChesney-Clark (7 of 7) Life Governors: Mr M J C Head
Dr T Christa (2 of 7) The Hon Justice J A Logan (4 of 7) Dr J Porter (2 of 7)
Elected by Cromwell College Old Collegians’ Association: Dr P B Catt (6 of 7) Appointed by the Senate of the University of Queensland: Prof D Terry (1 of 7) Elected by Cromwell College Students’ Association: Ms F I Hopkins (6 of 7) Ms J I Landmark (6 of 7) Visitor to the College: The Moderator of the Uniting Church, Queensland Synod: Rev B Johnson.
OFFICERS AND COMMITTEES: At the 59th Annual General Meeting held on 31st March 2010, the following officers were elected: Chairman: Mr B B de Jong Deputy Chair Mr T D H Courtice Secretary: Dr P B Catt Treasurer: Mr B M Rollason Executive Committee Five Executive meetings were held during the year. The Principal Rev Dr H M Begbie ex officio (2 of 2) retired 30/5/2010, The Principal, Mr R A Switzer ex officio (3 of 3) from 31/5/2010, Chairman (5 of 5), Deputy Chair (2 of 5), Secretary (5 of 5), Treasurer (4 of 5), Mr L Farrell (2 of 5), Ms J I Landmark (3 of 5), Mr A E McChesney-Clark (5 of 5). Property Committee Ten Property Committee meetings and one Special Property Meeting were held during the year. Rev Dr Hugh Begbie ex officio (4 of 4) Mr R A Switzer ex officio (7 of 7) Ms J I Landmark until 27/10/2010 (6 of 11) Mr L M Carroll from 17/11/2010 (1 of 1)
Mr A E McChesney-Clark - Chairman (11 of 11) Ms F I Hopkins until 27/10/2010 (9 of 11) Dr J Porter (6 of 11) Mr N R Finlay from 17/11/2010 (1 of 1).
Finance Committee One Finance Committee meeting was held during the year. The Treasurer ex officio (1) Ms F I Hopkins (1) Dr L Farrell (0)
Mr R A Switzer (1) Ms J I Landmark (1)
APPOINTMENTS: BDO Kendalls was appointed as College Auditor. 4
BOARD ACTIVITIES: During the year the Board continued to approve expenditure to complete the refurbishment of the College buildings. This has included the Principalâ€™s residence in readiness for Mr & Mrs Switzer, Steele Craik Lodge for the incoming Dean of Students and his wife Jo, the upgrade of Lockley and improvements to the kitchen. The bathroom floors also needed some improvements and many will have noticed the new look of the terracotta tiles on the roofs. Much attention, energy and planning took place in preparation for the new wing which is now occupied. Cromwell College now has facilities that they can be truly proud of and will be a great asset for years to come. Not all the focus has been on buildings. We have not neglected our students. It has been a great year for them. The Board continues to subsidise attendance at the Youth Leadership Forum and at the National Association of Australian University Colleges Conference. It has been a very busy year and productive year.
DR P.B. CATT Secretary
THE PRINCIPALâ€™S REPORT I have pleasure in presenting the Principalâ€™s Annual Report for Cromwell College 2010. Rev Dr Hugh Begbie concluded his tenure as Principal when I was appointed as the sixth Principal of Cromwell College from 31 May 2010. I take this opportunity to acknowledge the work of my predecessor, and to wish him well in his retirement. You only get one chance to make a first impression. The positive and embracing culture that swept both Jenny and I up in our first few weeks and months here was powerful, and it spoke volumes of the enviable tone of the College. I hope that over that same time period, I was able to engender across the College community, my vision and aspirations for Cromwell, my passion for the pastoral care of its students and staff, my business acumen, and my personal style of leadership and management. Others are far better placed than me to determine whether I made a first impression that exceeded expectations. The Master Plan Early in 2010, a large and ambitious capital program was embarked upon for opening in January 2011. The project was designed as a three level fully catered new building, with two levels of student accommodation and an undercroft / basement for future expansion. When construction on site finally began in June, a major hurdle was presented. Despite earlier soil testing, once construction commenced, the substructure on site was found to be of inconsistent quality, inadequate to build upon. Therefore, in my first week as Principal, the Board and I were faced with the decision of either scrapping the project altogether, or redesigning much of it to suit the conditions. The latter option was taken. Huge quantities of inferior substructure were dug out at significant cost, and the redesigned building was then set lower to fill this void. The new design includes a basement area which is the new maintenance workshop. Then comes an open undercroft area for future expansion, and then above that are three levels of student accommodation. Further uncertainties about substructure and rising associated costs, meant that the old Cromwell Cottage could not be effectively relocated, and it was demolished. I should place on record my gratitude for the incredible flexibility, patience and hard work that Board members, staff and students have displayed throughout this major capital project. With a new Principal, several new staff still finding their way, endless delays and then finally the floods, many people here at Cromwell, have pushed this very ambitious capital project over the line, whilst still maintaining the momentum of their already very busy roles. The work of many has seen what could have become a disaster, turn out for the better. Although the late start in 2010, the necessary redesign and other delays, caused the project not to be ready in time for the start of first semester 2011, the student accommodation section was ready by the 7 March 2011, with the remaining sections of the building completed in April. Although this capital project was plagued with many issues and delays, the end result, is a $4.4 million new fifty-four room fully catered accommodation facility of which Cromwell College can be justifiably proud well into the future. The refurbishment of the Lockley building was scheduled earlier in the year to occur towards the end of 2010. Running parallel to the construction of the new building, this $280,000 in-house project saw the upper two floors of Lockley transformed into deluxe rooms. This provides students with higher levels of facilities and comfort during semester times, and is aimed at attracting greater visitor and conference trade in the holidays. The junction of Lockley, the new building and the late meals dining room also saw a major refurbishment towards the end of 2010. The bathrooms in North, Thatcher, Dowling and Hancock buildings all underwent major in-house refurbishments this year. Major renovations took place in the kitchen, and the student rooms on the upper floor of Steele
Craik Lodge were decommissioned at the end of 2010. This space was renovated to provide appropriate, quality, family accommodation for the Dean of Students. With a very ambitious major capital project and numerous other major in-house refurbishment programs scheduled early in 2010 for completion that year, financial and human resources have been considerably stretched. The Board and the new Principal have revisited the Master Plan and determined that 2011 will be a consolidation year. This will allow the capital and human resources to recharge, and for preventative maintenance programs to recommence. The Students The life blood of Cromwell is its vibrant student body. The buildings are nice, but it is the students who are why this College exists. I have been humbled by the respect shown by the students towards me as their new Principal. There is a very effective relationship developing where issues of concern can be raised openly and honestly. Jenny has cooked for each of the 210 students in their corridors for dinners at our home, further building the necessary pastoral rapport. The College President, Joanne “Hip Hop” Landmark, her Vice President, Monty “Decibel” Summers, along with the entire Student Executive and Resident Assistant teams, have displayed exemplary leadership and management skills across their areas of responsibility. This has been a most significant factor in setting the tone of Cromwell this year. The academic performance of the College has been commendable with the average GPA being over 5. In addition, the students have committed themselves to many sporting and cultural events, with results that are a real credit to Cromwell as one of the smaller Colleges. An extensive social program has also been offered, along with regular weekly formal spiritual opportunities. A general concern of mine is the excessive use of alcohol by many students from time to time. To suggest moderation to them feels at times like swimming against the tide, however I believe that this is a swim that I must continue to take. I may never be able to realistically compete with the wider drinking subculture of some tertiary students, or the marketing machines of those who profiteer from increased alcohol sales to them, but if my swim leads to moderation occurring for even one student, then my swim has been worthwhile. The Staff Human resource management procedures have been further developed at the College. Our procedures clearly link to the relevant industrial instruments. There have been a number of staff changes this year with a new Principal. The interim Dean of Students, Dr Dale Mason, departed in October, when I appointed Mr Nathan Croft to a restructured Dean’s role on a three year contract. Mrs Barbara Pegg (Business Manager) has accepted a new three year contract. Mrs Noelene Brooks took on the new role of Catering Manager, when Mr Wayne Stacey (Kitchen Manager) resigned. Ms Anna East became the Community Relations Manager in April. A number of kitchen, cleaning, office and maintenance staff have moved on throughout the year, and I thank them for their work at the College. Professional development opportunities for staff are currently being sought, to enable employees to bring best practice ideas to Cromwell, and also to advance their careers. A staff reflection process has also been implemented. The staff are very appreciative of these initiatives. I sincerely thank my staff for their desire and ability to regularly go beyond the call of duty. Working in a residential tertiary environment has its challenges, and I am always humbled by the efforts of staff who perform admirably, with good grace. Financial Position Cromwell College continues to perform very well financially. With the necessary refurbishment projects of the past five years eroding reserves, the construction of the new building has led to external borrowings, for the first time in many years. Consolidation will
now be necessary to ensure Cromwellâ€™s ongoing strong financial position. The Cromwell Foundation is necessary for any future projects. To this end, significant work has occurred this year to establish an accurate data base of alumni, and to plan events both in Brisbane and beyond from 2011, to reconnect them with their College. Enrolment Interest By 30 September 2010, Cromwell had received just over 400 applications for 111 places. The demand for places at this and other colleges remains high, however we should never become complacent. We must always recognise our niche in the market and actively promote it. The change from phone interviews to regional face to face meetings has proved very popular with candidates and their parents. This has reflected positively on Cromwell from a marketing perspective, and has led to a very strong fresher cohort in 2011. Cromwell is reviewing its enrolment procedures to arrive at a more consumer friendly model, where hundreds of unsuccessful applicants, are not told just weeks out from first semester commencement, that they are unsuccessful. Campus Lodge continues to perform very well. Recognising the potential competition from other new residential developments in the area, Cromwell has broadened its offerings to Campus Lodge residents, allowing them the flexibility of self catering, but with opportunities to embrace a greater part of the fully catered product. The ability to purchase meals, join into ICC events, engage in the Cromwell UQ Sport Agreement, and be part of Cromwellâ€™s social functions are examples. UCA I am a member of University Colleges Australia. This provides monthly meetings with my colleagues at other UQ Colleges, and the opportunity to broaden my knowledge base through professional development opportunities, including the national conference held in September at the University of Sydney. Conclusion The challenge of my Principalship will be to preserve the best of the past, whilst simultaneously positioning the College well for now and for the future. Despite enrolment demand far exceeding supply at the moment, we can never just continue doing the same things the same way, and expect that increasingly savvy consumers will always choose to drift into our agenda each year. Modern business practices will complete the already positive picture essential to effectively position the College to meet its challenges in the years ahead. I am very grateful to the Chairman, Mr Ben de Jong and the Board of Governors for their support of Cromwell, and of me specifically this year. The Board and its subcommittees are exceptional. Their strategic rather than operational focus continues to set a great course for Cromwell, and I am revelling in the challenge of taking it there.
Ross A Switzer PRINCIPAL / CHIEF EXECUTIVE
TREASURER’S REPORT The Financial Report for the year ended 31/12/2010 accompanies this report. It has been audited and certified (unqualified). A separate statement providing greater detail of income and expense items is attached as Appendix No. 1. We concluded the year with a surplus on operations of $345,876 (2009: $517,746). Higher maintenance costs contributed to the reduced surplus when compared with that of the previous year. Components, in percentage terms, of the source of overall College income and the various areas of expense are shown in the following pie charts. For purposes of comparison, the previous year’s percentages are shown in brackets. Further information is provided in the Financial Report.
Income Sources 2010
* 2009 Comparison appears in brackets
0.1%(0.2%) 1.2% (1.1%)
6.1% (7.8%) 16.4% (15.8%)
Student Fees Campus Lodge Rental Accommodation and Function Charges 2001 Input Tax Credits reclaimed Interest Received Telephone Income Sundry Income
Expenses 2010 *2009 Comparison appears in brackets
1.8% (1.2%) 2.1% (2.0%)
Salaries, Wages and Associated costs Maintenance
Food and Provisions
4.8% (4.6%) 4.3% (4.1%)
Professional Fees 45.6% (46.5%)
Rates‐ General, Water and Fire Services Levy Gas and Electricity Cleaning CITG Contributions
14.1% (14.0%) 18.9% (11.9%)
Sports Subsidy Other Costs
Sound budgeting and financial control practices were maintained for 2010 enabling all available cash to be directed towards refurbishment of College buildings and facilities established over the past sixty years. This commenced in earnest during the Year 2000. Since that year to 31/12/2010, some $12.1 million has been spent on this very ambitious program, all of which was funded without borrowing. To a large extent, all major maintenance and refurbishment has now been completed with the expectation that College finances can be allowed to stabilize. During the year the Board acted, in terms of its Master Plan, to construct a new multi-storey fully-catered accommodation block consisting of 54 rooms and associated facilities. The construction was due for completion in March 2011 at an estimated cost of $4.4 million (net of GST) and to 31/12/2010 some $2.5 million had been outlaid using in part a loan facility of which $1,144,009 had been drawn at 31/12/2010. The facility is repayable over fifteen years. It is not since 1997, relative to the building of the self catered facility Campus Lodge, that the College has had to deal with loan borrowings and again, like then, the challenge will be to reduce loan debt as quickly as possible. The fact that any major maintenance costs will have been contained due to past extensive upgrades and refurbishment of facilities should allow the Board to consider applying an appropriate amount of any surplus cash to early retirement of debt. Given that the College now has a suite of high quality buildings and facilities, it is essential that a strong emphasis is placed on marketing their availability for private hiring to community groups during University vacational periods. During 2010 income from this source compared with 2009 fell by 1.7%. Oversight of matters involving the property expenditure is well exercised by the Property Committee. The dedicated efforts of all administrative and senior operational personnel to the well recognised functioning of the College are to be commended. The assistance to me has been much appreciated.
B.M. ROLLASON Treasurer 17.3.11
Cromwell College 2010 Students