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University Of The South Pacific ‘Mini Protest’ Wants Answers

The crowd gathered outside the Vice Chancellor’s office in solidar­ity happy to get answers on the al­legations.
17 May 2019 14:37
University Of The South Pacific ‘Mini Protest’ Wants Answers
School of Social Sciences Associate Professor Morgan Tuimalealiifano [left] talking to the crowd at USP.

Staff and students of the Uni­versity of the South Pacific organised a mini protest/discussion yesterday conveying their concerns on allegations on the abuse of office within the ad­ministration.

The crowd gathered outside the Vice Chancellor’s office in solidar­ity happy to get answers on the al­legations.

School of Social Sciences Associ­ate Professor Morgan Tuimaleali­ifano shared his grievances on alleged mismanagement within the system and towards a press release statement by the Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council, Winston Thompson, that he said undermined the authority of Vice Chancellor Professor Pal Ahlu­walia.

“Pro-Chancellor and Chair Mr Thompson issued a statement with worrying comments where he said the allegations were unsubstan­tial and urged those named in the document to refute,” said Mr Tui­malealiifano.

“He used a very strong word there, to refute and not the term respond, which almost suggest that those involved to come out and prove that VC Ahluwalia is wrong.

“I don’t think that this is the kind of phrase that a person in a sen­ior responsible position should be saying. He should have said there should be an opportunity given to respond to the allegations.

“It was wrong for him to say that in the press statement as he him­self is implicated in these allega­tions. It was under his watch that former VC Rajesh Chandra signed off on many of the decisions and payouts.”

Many of those gathered shared their frustration on the situation and on what actions need to be taken.

“We should stand in solidar­ity with Professor Ahluwalia and respond to those standing state­ments by Mr Thompson,” said Mr Tuimalealiifano.

“We need somebody that is inde­pendent to look after the confiden­tial report.”

“Pro-Chancellor is undermining the role of the Vice Chancellor’s authority and of his office as the Press Statement came out of the marketing office instead from the VC office”.

Concerned staff members and students of the university raised concerns, asking that the investi­gations process be made known to them.

Mr Thompson is currently in Va­nuatu and attemps to contact him for a comment were unsuccessful.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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