SIG ‘stand’ on USP Saga to be made known today

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Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, Dr Franco Rodie.
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BY BARNABAS MANEBONA

SOLOMON Islands Government (SIG) ‘position’ on the University of the South Pacific (USP) saga will be made known today.

Towards call made by the USP Staff and students requesting leaders from the USP member countries to remove Mr Winston Thompson from the position of Pro Chancellor (PC) due to bullying and workplace harassment against the USP Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Pal Ahluwalia, SIG’s earlier response on this issue this week was that the government can only make its decision based on the outcome of the USP Council, which is regrettable.

From PS Rodie’s response, having confirmation later on Tuesday this week that the USP Vice-Chancellor and President was suspended had got him responding to media inquiry again yesterday over their ‘stand’ on this issue, saying a media statement will be known today.

“Will send media statement first thing tomorrow [today] morning,” said PS Dr Rodie.

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It is understood that Nauru and Samoa as two member countries of the USP Council are amongst the first to have earlier shown their support to end the USP saga, having Nauru’s President Lionel Aingimea calling for a special council meeting to be convened after the VC/P was suspended.

The Pacific owned university (USP) has been reported facing a year-long leadership tussle with the latest reports of fresh attempts to dismiss the Vice Chancellor and President of the USP, a report said to resemble as a desperate bid to sabotage Professor Ahluwalia’s position and authority as the Chief Executive officer of USP.

This has led the staff and students of Laucala Campus staging a peaceful protest in support of Professor Ahluwalia to remain and call for Pro Chancellor Mr Thompson to resign instead.

The Chair and President of USPSA Federal Body Mr Joseph Sua had also on behalf of the student council, issued their demand for the resignation of the Pro- Chancellor, Deputy Pro-Chancellor and Chair Audit and Risk Committee.

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