NEWS

New Row Emerges At USP

The allegations have emerged barely four months after the saga which undermined Professor Ahluwalia’s position over employee appointment allegations
12 Sep 2020 10:00
New Row Emerges At USP
Right: USP Pro-Chancellor and council chair Winston Thompson, Left: USP Vice Chancellor and president Professor Pal Ahluwalia. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The University of the South Pacific is yet again under the spotlight after fresh allegations were released by Pro-Chancellor and council chair Winston Thompson.

Mr Thompson claims a big disconnect persists between the management and the council.

He claimed that management, which is overseen by its Vice Chancellor and president Professor Pal Ahluwalia, disregarded the governance responsibility of the council. It refers to the actions and performance of the management.

When contacted yesterday, Professor Ahluwalia said he would provide a response based on the discussions made in the meeting which started at 1pm. He did not respond when this edition went to press.

The allegations have emerged barely four months after the saga which undermined Professor Ahluwalia’s position over employee appointment allegations.

He was suspended but reinstated after strong backing from Nauru president and Chancellor Lionel Aingimea and other member countries.

Mr Thompson claimed: “There has been no respect and sufficient work done by the management for the past 18 months.”

He said the recent special council meetings which began on June 19 and ended on September 4 was a consequence of the non-compliance by the management in its responsibility to the governing body.

Mr Thompson claimed that management deliberately disregarded the proper process and attempted to bypass the normal requirement.

He also said the management did not refer or inform the Council about the July 2020 meeting of the University Grants Committee.

“The matter only became known through a comment in the report of the Vice-Chancellor to the Executive Committee which met on August 28.

“A paper should have been submitted to the Executive and Finance Committee which was not done,” he said.

Mr Thompson said the 2018 re-registration process of the University with the Fiji Higher Education Commission (FHEC) was delayed and was still incomplete.

“The Council came to know of it in August 2020, whereas the process should have been completed last year.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  shreeya.verma@fijisun.com.fj

 

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