Following the reinstatement of USP’s Vice-Chancellor and President Pal Ahluwalia, the USP Council is expected to meet again on Friday, June 26th to continue discussing the agenda of the special meeting.
The primary objective of the first special meeting of the USP Council via Zoom held on Friday, June 19th was to decide on the validity of the executive committee’s decision to suspend the Vice-Chancellor.
The decision to reinstate Ahluwalia came after a seven-hour meeting with the council voting 22-9 in favour of the reinstatement.
BCN News understands that this special council meeting is in recess and will determine when to continue to discuss the agenda of the meeting and look at what measures need to be in place to resolve the situation.
The suspension of the Vice-Chancellor had provoked widespread concerns over the state of affairs at the university and prompted vigorous calls for the USP Council to meet and look into the matter.
Last year, the current Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pal Ahluwalia raised allegations of serious cases of mismanagement and abuse of process at USP under the previous Vice-Chancellor and current Pro-Chancellor Winston Thompson which Auckland Accounting firm BDO was asked to investigate and report on.
From the special meeting on Friday June 19th, the USP Council stated that having considered the decision by the university’s Executive Committee to suspend the Vice-Chancellor and President, the Council is not persuaded that due process was followed in the suspension of Vice-Chancellor Ahluwalia.
The USP Council stated they set aside the suspension of the Vice-Chancellor and President by the Executive Committee and have resolved that the process as prescribed in An Ordinance to Govern the Discipline of the Vice-Chancellor be followed in investigating any allegations against the Vice-Chancellor and President.
The Council is made up of Ministers of the 12 member countries, representatives from New Zealand and Australia, staff members and student representatives of USP and certain co-opted persons.
Fiji has five members and Samoa has two members on the Council while all the other 10 member countries have one member each on the Council.