Sunvoice

EDITORIAL: Change In FNU Leadership Will Benefit Students

For months rumours have been swirling around the social media about the Fiji National University. Thank goodness, they have now been explained by the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts,
30 Dec 2014 11:55

For months rumours have been swirling around the social media about the Fiji National University.

Thank goodness, they have now been explained by the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, and chairperson of the university council, Mahendra Reddy.

The exit of Ganesh Chand as vice-chancellor, according to a statement by Mr Reddy was “ mutual” and the “parting of ways has been amicable.”

His employment contract was “brought to an end” before it expired because the university needed a “re-direction and consolidation of the university’s strategic focus.”

It’s fairly obvious that there were differences over the future direction of the university. Mr Chand had to go because his views were different.

Mr Reddy indicated there were differences. But one thing you can’t take away from Mr Chand is that he has been responsible for leading the growth of FNU to what it is today.

Even the university council recognises it. Mr Reddy said in a statement: “The council notes and acknowledges the excellent contribution Mr Chand has provided in developing the Fiji National University and wishes to place on record his leadership in the amalgamation of the six national institutions into a university that Fiji now calls its own university.

The council of the Fiji National University reiterated its appreciation of Mr Chand’s dynamic leadership of the university.

“The University Council is full of praise for Mr Ganesh Chand. Having worked with the vice-chancellor over the past five years, and having seen his leadership first-hand, I echo these sentiments as well.

“Mr Chand was always on his toes. He was full of energy and determination to make the university a credible and a leading university.

“It was his strategic thinking, and his drive, enthusiasm and passion that saw the rapid development of the university.” In other words, Mr Reddy is saying Mr Chand has served well but it is now time for a change.

According to its records, since its establishment in 2010, the FNU now has campuses and centres at 33 locations throughout the country, running a total of approximately 30 different courses and programmes with a staff complement of more than 1800 and in January 2012, hitting a record student enrolment of more than 20,000.

It says: “As a new and dynamic institution, yet one with an illustrious history within its component parts, FNU is daily developing, innovating and expanding to provide Fiji and the region with the education and training that they most need.”

The different components had in the past, before the amalgamation, trained Fijians and Pacific Islanders in skills that led many to acquire jobs and new life overseas, notably in New Zealand and Australia.

Hopefully, the change at the top of the hierarchy, will help the university to continue to develop, expand and diversify and meet the requirements of the job market.

Professor Ian Rouse, who will act as vice-chancellor until a permanent replacement is found, is an excellent operator.

He has done remarkable work as dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Professor Rajat Gyaneshwar, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the College will act as dean while he focuses on introducing changes that will benefit students overall.

The change augers well for FNU’s future.

 

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 




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