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USU: Board decides against renewing CEO Andrew Woodward’s contract

Woodward is leaving the USU after 10 years of involvement within the organisation.

Current CEO of the University of Sydney Union (USU), Andrew Woodward, will not have his contract renewed, and will not serve a further term as CEO of the organisation as decided in the Board’s latest meeting.

The USU Board of Directors, alongside Woodward, are said to have made the decision mutually, with the Board voting not to renew Woodward’s contract during the June meeting. This is despite the fact that Woodward’s contract was not set to expire until early next year.

In a statement sent to Honi, outgoing president of the USU, Liliana Tai, attributes the early non-renewal “to ensur[ing] an adequate handover period and enough time for the next CEO to be involved in the 2020 budget process.”

This signals the end of Woodward’s involvement in the USU – a ten year period during which he was also its Director of Finance.

During that time, Woodward helped the USU partner with Vittoria Coffee and Tsingtao. Both companies played major roles in the USU’s service offering during Woodward’s tenure.

Vittoria Coffee has been the USU’s coffee partner of choice since 2012, and Tsingtao sponsored the Hermanns’ Bar refurbishment in 2017. Both also contributed more than $2,500 to Woodward’s Tour de Cure fundraising efforts in 2019.

Honi makes no claim that Woodward received any personal donations, funding, financial payments or general benefits from Vittoria Coffee or Tsingtao as part of his Tour de Cure fundraiser.

As CEO, Woodward has notably overseen the opening of several campus food outlets, such as Courtyard Café in the Holme Building. His tenure as CEO has not, however, been without controversy. Woodward was widely criticised by staff and student unionists alike in 2013 for his attitudes to staff strikes, for the release of a letter in which he advised USU staff on methods for crossing picket lines. The tail end of Woodward’s current term saw the introduction of the nascent and unpopular change to the Clubs and Societies funding model.

Woodward will officially step down on July 12 2019, and current Director of Sales & Marketing and Director of Infrastructure, Alistair Cowie is set to be appointed as interim CEO.

According to Tai, the process of recruiting a new CEO will take several months, and will “heavily” involve the student board.