Academics continue to speak out against ousted USP VC

February 14, 2021 7:58 am

Another former academic has come out voicing concerns regarding former University of the South Pacific Vice Chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia.

Former Pro-VC, and Director of the Centre for Flexible Learning at USP, Professor Som Naidu is calling on the USP Council and the University to move on from this toxic situation, and advertise for a new Vice Chancellor to unite them.

Professor Naidu says it is disappointing to see the legacy of the regional institution being dragged down into the gutter with the current impasse facing the University.

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In a letter to the USP Council, Professor Naidu expressed that everyone wants good governance that is not contested adding that the impasse at the institution is hardly about governance and who is best placed to provide it.

Naidu says his position on the issue is that most of it is derived from petty rivalries among individuals and factions at the University, and former VC Professor Pal Ahluwalia is guilty of creating the division.

The former academic wrote when Professor Ahluwalia arrived at USP, it was apparent that he had little understanding of flexible learning, and this was a concern for Professor Naidu who at the time was heading the Centre for Flexible Learning.

Professor Naidu also claims that Professor Ahluwalia, no longer commands the support of the majority of staff and students at the University.

Similar sentiments were shared by the regionally acclaimed academic Professor Konai Helu Thaman in her letter to the USP Council.

Professor Thaman says when Professor Ahluwalia took over from Professor Chandra a lot of people saw him as a breath of fresh air.

She adds that she took time to watch and listen to Ahluwalia in various contexts and capacities and she was not impressed.

Professor Thaman strongly believes that because of divisive influence, vindictive tendencies and proven lack of leadership qualities, Ahluwalia needs to go adding that USP can come together to find someone from the Pacific who understands and has the region and people at heart to lead the regional institution.

Thaman stresses that the number of breaches identified by the Executive Committee still need to be independently investigated.

We have sent questions to former VC Professor Ahluwalia and a response is expected soon.