20 Mar 2006

PNG Vice Chancellor won't go until he is adequately compensated for defamation

8:10 pm on 20 March 2006

The University of Papua New Guinea's Vice Chancellor, Professor Leslie Eastcott, says he has been unnecessarily defamed and wants to be adequately compensated before he resigns.

The National Academic Staff Association at the university wants him and four other senior executives to be immediately suspended, or it will initiate strike action.

The five administrators have been awarded just over 1.5 million US dollars in compensation after a student strike at the university last year.

The money includes wage entitlements and compensation for pain and suffering.

It has sparked an outcry but Professor Eastcott says he and his colleagues are confident an Ombudsman's Office investigation into the planned payout will be in their favour.

The Vice Chancellor says in the meantime he intends remaining in the job but it isn't easy.

"It's absolutely frustrating as it makes it difficult to manage the university and it creates uncertainty in the minds of a number of staff but the very positive thing has been that the university is fulfilling its teaching responsibilities so this is one of the political things running parallel to the smooth running of the university."

Professor Leslie Eastcott.