Salary halt for SINU’s vice chancellor
By EDDIE OSIFELO
SOLOMON Islands National University (SINU) Council has suspended the contract of incumbent Vice Chancellor Dr Ganesh Chand due to the prevailing covid-19 situation in Fiji as well as existing travel restrictions and border closures.
Minister of Education and Human Resources Development, Lanelle Tanangada confirmed this when asked by Member of Parliament for Small Malaita, Rick Hou in Parliament yesterday.
Tanangada said the SINU Council in consultation with Chand has made a decision and suspended his contract as of 27 August 2021.
She said this implies Chand is no longer paid his salary nor does he benefit from the rest of his terms and conditions outlined in his contract.
Chand’s three years contract commenced on 5 March 2019 to 4 March 2022.
Tanangada said the recruitment and appointment of the Vice Chancellor Dr Ganesh Chand followed all due recruitment and appointment processes of the SINU recruitment policy and SINU Council were deem to be proper and valid.
She said owing to issues relating to his work permit, Chand took an early annual leave since October 2020 while issues regarding his work permit were addressed.
“His work permit has since been addressed and granted,” he said.
Opposition Leader, Matthew Wale who is providing leadership and management decision making since Chand’s contract has been suspended.
Tanangada said Dr Jack Maebuta is the acting VC so every responsibility is placed on him.
MP Hou asked whether SINU has started the process to find replacement of this position of substantive VC.
Tanangada said the process is now in place and SINU management are working on that until the time it will be advertised when his contract ends on 4 March 2022.
Dr Ganeshwar Chand, better known as Ganesh Chand, is a Fijian academic and former politician of Indian descent.
He is a founder of the University of Fiji and serves as a trustee of the Fiji Institute of Applied Studies and as editor of Fijian Studies: A Journal of Contemporary Fiji.
He was a member of the Fiji Labour Party (FLP) in the parliamentary elections of 1999 and 2001. He was also Minister for National Planning, Local Government, Housing and Environment in 1999-2000.
Chand announced his retirement from active politics in 2004 and began focusing on academia.
Parliament continues today.