7 Mar 2005

University of Fiji names first vice chancellor

8:42 am on 7 March 2005

The longtime deputy and for three years acting vice chancellor of the University of the South Pacific is to be founding vice chancellor of the new University of Fiji.

The failure of the USP council to appoint Professor Rajesh Chandra vice chancellor last year in favour of Dr Anthony Ashton Tarr caused strong public controversy.

Now Professor Chandra has taken leave from the USP to head the new University of Fiji being set up in Lautoka by the Indian religious organisation, the Arya Prati-nidhi Sabha.

He says he is taking up the job because he is very impressed by the boldness of the initiative and the vision of the people who are behind the move.

Professor Chandra has had a 30-year career at the USP, which included periods as head of geography, pro-vice chancellor, director of planning and development and deputy as well as acting vice chancellor.

The new University of Fiji has already attracted several former Fiji academics working in Australian universities.

Lectures begin this month.