31 May 2023

Claims of 'issues, concerns and breaches' at University of the South Pacific

2:08 pm on 31 May 2023

University of the South Pacific Laucala Campus, Suva. Photo: Facebook / USP

A leaked document authored by a senior University of the South Pacific academic has again put a spotlight into the affairs of the regional institution.

The "strictly confidential" document, viewed by RNZ Pacific, is written by Janusz Jankowski, the deputy vice-chancellor and vice-president (research and innovation) of USP.

The 13-page report is addressed to the USP Council chair and pro-chancellor - and former Marshall Islands President - Dr Hilda Heine and deputy chair and deputy pro-chancellor, Professor Pat Walsh.

It outlines several "issues, concerns and breaches with both USP policies and procedures" under USP's vice-chancellor and president Pal Ahluwalia's leadership.

Dr Jankowski, who was appointed to his role in November last year and had been working remotely from the UK, is calling for formal investigations of the vice-chancellor of the regional university.

The USP said Dr Jankowski is no longer working at the university but that is not related to his complaint.

"Contrary to media reports, the Vice Chancellor and President of USP does not have the delegated authority to terminate the employment of a Deputy Vice-Chancellor," its statement said.

"This authority rests with the University Council. In the matter pertaining to Professor Janusz Jankowski's status with the University, he was until recently engaged as a fixed-term and part-time consultant, and this arrangement has now ended."

It is understood that USP staff unions are unhappy with the issues highlighted in the report.

RNZ Pacific has contacted Professor Ahluwalia and USP for comment.

In an email response, a USP spokesperson responded on Wednesday morning.

University of the South Pacific (USP) vice-chancellor and president Pal Ahluwalia.

USP vice-chancellor and president Pal Ahluwalia Photo: USP

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