The longtime deputy and for two years acting vice chancellor of the University of the South Pacific, Professor Rajesh Chandra, has resigned.
Professor Chandra announced early this week that he was taking more than two and a half years of long service leave from USP to help start the new University of Fiji as its foundation vice chancellor.
Professor Chandra was twice by-passed for the position of vice chancellor.
A statement from the USP says the resignation is because of conflict of interest with his new job.
Meanwhile, the education minister, Ro Teimumu Kepa, has expressed concern at the establishment of the University of Fiji by a Hindu religious organisation in Lautoka.
She says her concern stems from the government's commitment that all institutions of higher learning established in Fiji are reputable and of a high standard, and their qualifications are recognised overseas.
Ro Teimumu is also asking how the new institution acquired the name of The University of Fiji.