SUNCITY

USP Academic Tells: Why I’ve Gone

Former University of the South Pacific journalism lecturers, Dr Matthew Thompson and Patrick Craddock, left the country in a cloud of secrecy. In response to the questions sent via email
26 Aug 2014 05:27

Former University of the South Pacific journalism lecturers, Dr Matthew Thompson and Patrick Craddock, left the country in a cloud of secrecy.

In response to the questions sent via email regarding Dr Thompson’s contract he said he had been given a contract for the first semester earlier this year and was told the contract extension would be drawn up.

“USP also encouraged me to apply for a three-year position starting in 2015 and I thought long and hard about this as I firmly believe that journalism academics should practise journalism, if they don’t then they will be in danger of being out of touch and left behind,” Dr Thompson said.

He said he asked USP if there could be some flexibility in delivering the courses to allow him to tackle some international reportage from time to time and he said he was told that was entirely possible.

Dr Thompson said he used the return leg of the Sydney-Suva round trip that USP originally booked for him early in the year and he still had no contract extension to sign.

“Other opportunities were passing me by and I decided to get on with other work so I emailed USP and said that I would not be waiting around anymore.

“I received a reply welcoming my interest in the 2015 position but the past few days I discovered that the position has been re-advertised.”

He said the apparent discarding without notice of his application came as a surprise as he was apparently a good enough candidate for USP to ask him to extend his contract through 2014 and to encourage him to apply for the three-year role.

However, Dr Thompson said the more time goes by without resolution the harder it would be for him and for many other potential candidates to drop the world’s myriad other opportunities to sign on for USP.

Meanwhile, questions sent to USP two weeks ago remain unanswered.

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